The Invitation

The Invitation

Author: Joan Harman
December 03, 2021

"The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer was the foundational inspiration for some discussion at the women's retreat held this fall.
This poem inspired me to use the poet's format and think about the "Christmas Stories" in Matthew and Luke, to think about my own anticipation of Christ's coming.

It doesn't bother me for one nanosecond if the calendars we use are theologically or historically incorrect about the exact date and year of Jesus' birth.
What I do know is that because of Jesus, the world has changed more than in just notation of dates. The results of Jesus' life and teachings pervade the secular world whether you register the year as AD (Anno Domini) or ce (common era, meaning the years after Christ's birth).

It doesn't matter if Herod was King of Judea and Quirinius governed Syria, for both were subject to the wish and whim of the Caesar,
What interests me is how Matthew starts his Jesus Family Tree with David, a king.

Since these events happened so long ago, I can only accept Matthew's and Luke's reports. If indeed Gabriel, an archangel,  appeared in person to the priest, Zacharias, and Jesus' mother or in a dream to Jesus' father......here's what I know in my life time.
 I have read recently that a sociologist is leading at least one group weekly in MA to discuss dreams to try to see if what our minds encounter in dreams might give us clues for ways/strategies for solving community and national problems.

Just because Matthew knew the Old Testament reassurance of Isaiah (7:14) for a frightened Ahaz, King of Judah, that a child will be born and named Immanuel,
How does that translate for me to God With Us (Matthew 1:23) in this time when God seems so absent to many?
How do we serve those who are hurting in ways that show God when we claim to be God's hands?

I'm curious to know why the name Jesus, Yeshua, was given to the baby at the naming ceremony..... the equivalent of Jim Smith in Palestine..........
If it really was to remind the first readers that it was the name of the favorite son of patriarch, Jacob, then why is Judah the son named in the genealogy?....

 I want to know if naming Jacob's son Judah in both Matthew's and Luke's genealogies had to be selected to get the Holy Family to a town in Judea for the birth at the time of census?

What does come to mind is the Breughel painting of the grey, snowy day showing a large number of darkly clad villagers involved in a variety of daily activities and a characteristic pair (one slumping astride a donkey) entering a que where a mob of people is already bunched near the door to a drab building.

Since my husband's parents had delivered their fifth child, unaided, because of a severe snowstorm......
I find it possible to think of Mary and Joseph having to deliver their own child.........
Or was there a woman to help among the other caravaners squashed into that stable with them?  If that is never mentioned, could it be that the people in the stable that night were eager to get out early? Maybe no one else was there when the shepherds were finally able to leave their sheep as day was breaking..........

It doesn't matter how many of the rich and famous Matthew includes in the birth story............
If we set aside Dec. 28 in Christian liturgical calendars to celebrate the Holy Innocents from Matthew 2, then what should we be doing about the innocents now being killed randomly or with purpose? What can be done about those 10 or more world leaders right now whose actions and policies take the lives of many young people?

I want to know if those bearers of gifts were ancient sky watchers, what other astral phenomena had they noted?
I want to know what truths are being revealed today to those who watch the skies from earth-based and space-based instruments.?
Blessings,
Joan K. Harman <><<><
 joanharmank@gmail.com
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