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Christmas

 

Christmas, it seems to me, is the Highest (and the most spiritual) of all our holidays.  If you have the time, I suggest you read my first blog posting (or maybe it’s the 2nd …).  In any case, I posted it here on January 10th, 2018; but I actually wrote it on Christmas Day (one year ago) and had posted it (Dec. 25th) on the predecessor of this site.  (I just now read that blog … and I would say those same things now … except I already said them a year ago.)                                                                                             It’s here:         <     https://www.worldfamilytrading.com/blog/page/6/    >

 

Honestly, it’s a little difficult for me to accept the fact – that it’s taken me a whole year to get my online store to function.  (Clearly – I’m not here for the money.)

 

A few days ago I ‘pushed’ a few products to my store.  (But they didn’t land where I wanted them to … also – they seemed to have no mark-up.)  So – I withdrew them … till I can solve these little problems.

But, you know what?  I realized that the way I am choosing which products to offer … is not according to ‘what’s trending’ … or  “What’s going to make me money?”

No … it’s much simpler than that.  I want this store to be filled with things I want you to have.  Basically, it’s as though I’m rounding up things which (if I could) – I would put under your Christmas tree.

 

I would Very Much like to present you with such a store … but it’s still not ready.

 

So … what I will do instead – is to offer you a little ceremony – which you may wish to use  … (maybe) between now and Christmas … or (maybe) on Christmas Eve … or (perhaps) simply on Christmas day.

The thing is  –  if we could experience (directly) … how much we are loved … (for even 5 seconds) … we would be changed … forever.   Mmm?

Now … I relied quite a bit on my intuition    to structure this little ceremony which follows.  And your intuition may be better than mine … so you should follow it.   Mmm?

 

[It so happens that I spent 17 years (1995-2012) in a religious order (gccalliance.org) where everyone studies the Urantia Book.

That was our ‘core document’ … and I (still) have a high regard for it.  (“Urantia” is the name the celestials use to refer to this planet … which we call the ‘Earth’)

I will reference the passages below … simply by their (Urantia Book) page numbers.

I use the Urantia Foundation’s site … where the U.B. is available to be read … in 19 languages:     

                                 https://www.urantia.org/                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When I use this site, I normally search for a passage by entering its paper number (just the number) into the (lower) search bar.  Page numbers don’t seem to work.  The excerpts below    are from Paper 119     & (mostly from) Paper 122]                                                                      

 

[Jesus (Christ Michael) chose Urantia (the Earth) as the planet where he would carry out his 7th and final (required) bestowal.  And he made this decision some thirty-five thousand years ago, at the time of the default of Adam & Eve (who, by the way, were not human)]

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [Do these readings aloud.]

 

While we believed that this would be the method, we never knew, until the time of the event itself, that Michael would appear on earth as a helpless infant of the realm. Theretofore had he always appeared as a fully developed individual of the personality group of the bestowal selection, and it was a thrilling announcement which was broadcast from Salvington telling that the babe of Bethlehem had been born on Urantia.

We then not only realized that our Creator and friend was taking the most precarious step in all his career, apparently risking his position and authority on this bestowal as a helpless infant, but we also understood that his experience in this final and mortal bestowal would eternally enthrone him as the undisputed and supreme sovereign of the universe of Nebadon. For a third of a century of earth time all eyes in all parts of this local universe were focused on Urantia. All intelligences realized that the last bestowal was in progress, and as we had long known of the Lucifer rebellion in Satania and of the Caligastia disaffection on Urantia, we well understood the intensity of the struggle which would ensue when our ruler condescended to incarnate on Urantia in the humble form and likeness of mortal flesh.    …

Certain wise men of earth knew of Michael’s impending arrival. Through the contacts of one world with another, these wise men of spiritual insight learned of the forthcoming bestowal of Michael on Urantia. And the seraphim did, through the midway creatures, make announcement to a group of Chaldean priests whose leader was Ardnon. These men of God visited the newborn child in the manger. The only supernatural event associated with the birth of Jesus was this announcement to Ardnon and his associates by the seraphim of former attachment to Adam and Eve in the first garden.

                                                                                                                                                       – p. 1317

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~   [Light a candle, if you have one … and stretch your arms out and upward; and raise your face ‘heavenward’ – in a gesture of “Receiving”.  Hold this pose for 5 seconds or so  … then play the following song]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_3-haTEFrU    (Some Children See Him)

 

One evening about sundown, before Joseph had returned home, Gabriel appeared to Mary by the side of a low stone table and, after she had recovered her composure, said: “I come at the bidding of one who is my Master and whom you shall love and nurture. To you, Mary, I bring glad tidings when I announce that the conception within you is ordained by heaven, and that in due time you will become the mother of a son; you shall call him Joshua, and he shall inaugurate the kingdom of heaven on earth and among men. Speak not of this matter save to Joseph and to Elizabeth, your kinswoman, to whom I have also appeared, and who shall presently also bear a son, whose name shall be John, and who will prepare the way for the message of deliverance which your son shall proclaim to men with great power and deep conviction. And doubt not my word, Mary, for this home has been chosen as the mortal habitat of the child of destiny. My benediction rests upon you, the power of the Most Highs will strengthen you, and the Lord of all the earth shall overshadow you.”      …

 

Joseph did not become reconciled to the idea that Mary was to become the mother of an extraordinary child until after he had experienced a very impressive dream. In this dream a brilliant celestial messenger appeared to him and, among other things, said: “Joseph, I appear by command of Him who now reigns on high, and I am directed to instruct you concerning the son whom Mary shall bear, and who shall become a great light in the world. In him will be life, and his life shall become the light of mankind. He shall first come to his own people, but they will hardly receive him; but to as many as shall receive him to them will he reveal that they are the children of God.” After this experience Joseph never again wholly doubted Mary’s story of Gabriel’s visit and of the promise that the unborn child was to become a divine messenger to the world.

In all these visitations nothing was said about the house of David. Nothing was ever intimated about Jesus’ becoming a “deliverer of the Jews,” not even that he was to be the long-expected Messiah. Jesus was not such a Messiah as the Jews had anticipated, but he was the world’s deliverer. His mission was to all races and peoples, not to any one group.                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                               –   1347

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[If you do these readings on different days (or if it seems appropriate to you) – again light a candle (another one) … and again do the ‘Gesture of Receiving’.]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L_Yc-rWHvQ    (The Blessed Son of God  – Ralph Vaughan Williams)   

 

It was not necessary that Mary should go to Bethlehem for enrollment—Joseph was authorized to register for his family—but Mary, being an adventurous and aggressive person, insisted on accompanying him. She feared being left alone lest the child be born while Joseph was away, and again, Bethlehem being not far from the City of Judah, Mary foresaw a possible pleasurable visit with her kinswoman Elizabeth.

Joseph virtually forbade Mary to accompany him, but it was of no avail; when the food was packed for the trip of three or four days, she prepared double rations and made ready for the journey. But before they actually set forth, Joseph was reconciled to Mary’s going along, and they cheerfully departed from Nazareth at the break of day.    …

The inn was overcrowded, and Joseph accordingly sought lodgings with distant relatives, but every room in Bethlehem was filled to overflowing. On returning to the courtyard of the inn, he was informed that the caravan stables, hewn out of the side of the rock and situated just below the inn, had been cleared of animals and cleaned up for the reception of lodgers. Leaving the donkey in the courtyard, Joseph shouldered their bags of clothing and provisions and with Mary descended the stone steps to their lodgings below. They found themselves located in what had been a grain storage room to the front of the stalls and mangers. Tent curtains had been hung, and they counted themselves fortunate to have such comfortable quarters.

Joseph had thought to go out at once and enroll, but Mary was weary; she was considerably distressed and besought him to remain by her side, which he did.

All that night Mary was restless so that neither of them slept much. By the break of day the pangs of childbirth were well in evidence, and at noon, August 21, 7 B.C., with the help and kind ministrations of women fellow travelers, Mary was delivered of a male child. Jesus of Nazareth was born into the world, was wrapped in the clothes which Mary had brought along for such a possible contingency, and laid in a near-by manger.

                                                                                                                                                                                          – 1351

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[If it seems right … again light a candle … and assume the posture of ‘Receiving’]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3s-Q1zyxYE    (Balulalow, Britten)

 

… the day of the arrival of certain priests from Ur, who were sent down from Jerusalem by Zacharias.

These priests from Mesopotamia had been told sometime before by a strange religious teacher of their country that he had had a dream in which he was informed that “the light of life” was about to appear on earth as a babe and among the Jews. And thither went these three teachers looking for this “light of life.” After many weeks of futile search in Jerusalem, they were about to return to Ur when Zacharias met them and disclosed his belief that Jesus was the object of their quest and sent them on to Bethlehem, where they found the babe and left their gifts with Mary, his earth mother. The babe was almost three weeks old at the time of their visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                    –  1352

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfS4A-KxHLU           (Túrót eszik a cigány  – Kodaly)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        ~ Blessings on you … and a Merry Christmas.            Perhaps even our loneliness      is holy.  ~

 

                                                                                                                      – A’Journe

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPFvJgQqZb0     (Feliz Navidad  – dance recital)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBDFMD5kLvc    (Carol of the Bells  – Ukrainian)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwEp6F3GLkA    (Отче наш, Otche Nash, Lord’s Prayer, Our Father – Slavonic Hymn)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyFkPd6fEuI    (Hymn of the Cherubim  – Tchaikovsky)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxDZjg_Igoc   (Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss – The Wexford Carol)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts4AxTD7ctc    (Wexford Lullaby  – John Renbourn)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE    (Mary, Did you Know?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Zx9JA2DOow    (Lullay Myn Lyking, Holst)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0mT-zNxRMw    (African version of Little Drummer Boy)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKzkCldvB-w    (God is Love  – Goethe and Holst)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU-E46o0sp0    (Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming)

movie:  “The God Child Came”   (DVD  available from     https://globalchangetools.org/collections/video  )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6IG6F6E5Ac    (The Huron Carol)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJRzB-buX0k    (The Huron Carol, Christmas at Saint Marie [45 minutes])

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjaN7DB7Pd4    (Past Three O’Clock)

.youtube.com/watch?v=SGeC_8VA4h8    (Adam Lay Ybounden  – Westminster Choir)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6S6EXxL_Lw    (Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella      &  Patapan)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nABowLcQlHc    (A Soalin’  – P P & M)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fpspzcrlGY    (The Boar’s Head Carol)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNgCM7zp30M    (Sacla’  – school lunch)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wit-jGD4wCw    (Coventry Carol  – ANÚNA)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4fMbPMdWs4     (This Little Babe – Britten – Multitrack by the Julie Gaulke Choir)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=999slUsTCpw    (Fum Fum Fum)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vel-9_wA_WQ    (La Nuit  – from ‘Les Choristes’)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTQKU6uUBjU    (O Holy Night)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYstefPL8VI    (I Wonder As I Wander  – Eleni Voudouraki)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RlMuRYvndU    (Angels We Have Heard on High)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3iYnHx8P0s    (The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father): A Russian Orthodox Liturgical Work by Nikolay Kedrov, Sr.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td7OlabxlXY    (Good King Wenceslas – King’s College Choir  – Prague Christmas)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c95ikxkv0KQ    (ГЕНДЕЛЬ  – “Аллилуйя”)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IEuxKCB6o8    (A Ceremony of Carols  – Benjamin Britten)

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYVoAKvDsLU    (Angels We Have Heard on High)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RlMuRYvndU    (Angels We Have Heard on High  [w/ stained glass church windows])

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wit-jGD4wCw    (Coventry Carol  – ANÚNA)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRDtZeJzLi8    (Silent Night,  Celtic)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_6XMMzHZ7c    (I Wonder As I Wander  – McDermid)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzQO4L_OKQA    (Mary, Did You Know?  – The Hound + The Fox)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyFkPd6fEuI    (Hymn of the Cherubim  – Tchaikovsky)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYvw7jm-lsw    (Praise the Lord  – Rachmaninov)

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgFyokgV1Ls    (“Our Father”  – Rimsky-Korsakov)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTQKU6uUBjU    (O Holy Night  – Libera)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L_Yc-rWHvQ    (The Blessed Son of God  – Ralph Vaughan Williams)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBOMVLd7wYg    (Russian Orthodox)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGR4Lj8cpYs    (Carol of the Bells   [using real bells])

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lwqdyVJuYA    (The Holly and the Ivy)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbJ-X_-1YbQ    (What Child Is This?)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1hegkE9Lb0    (Angels We Have Heard On High)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGI4cqItD6U&index=2&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw    (God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYoAhVW4B4g&index=4&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw    (Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Xt5SjHbBA&index=7&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw    (Good King Wenceslas)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTsknFSV-Zk&index=9&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw    (In the Bleak Midwinter)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv9-m-xDvwk&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw&index=5    (Good Christian Men, Rejoice)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojTtfocIbVU&index=6&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw    (Coventry Carol)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIA7uYQX2HA&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw&index=17    (Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ZOGTPsxng&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw&index=31    (We Three Kings)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3raTXZ_hPk&index=29&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw    (And the Glory of the Lord)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-Rv-J46gvM&list=RD6miZpGUjbfw&index=30    (The Angel Gabriel [Old Basque Carol])

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Christmas at Sea

 

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;

The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;

The wind was a nor’wester, blowing squally off the sea;

And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;

But ’twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.

We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,

And we gave her the maintops’l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;

All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;

All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,

For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide race roared;

But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:

So’s we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,

And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;

The good red fires were burning bright in every ‘long-shore home;

The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;

And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;

For it’s just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)

This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,

And the house above the coastguard’s was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,

My mother’s silver spectacles, my father’s silver hair;

And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,

Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,

Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;

And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,

To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.

‘All hands to loose top gallant sails,’ I heard the captain call.

‘By the Lord, she’ll never stand it,’ our first mate, Jackson, cried.

… ‘It’s the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,’ he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,

And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.

As the winter’s day was ending, in the entry of the night,

We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,

As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;

But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,

Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

 

                                                                                                –    Robert Louis Stevenson

 

 

 

 

 

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