- Roughly two thousand years
ago, a person of such incontrovertible significance was born in the most
humble of circumstances, and doubly so in that had a foreign power not
occupied his nation and had the religious authorities not bowed the knee
to carnal power and corruptions, he would have been in line to be King
by family rights. But that was not meant to be. He was already a King,
of which an earthly crown would never suffice. Instead, he was born into
a devalued class and subjugated to the corrupt dictates of a world and
religion gone mad; an age plunged into darkness and perilous deception,
where most were content with spiritual and intellectual laziness. That
comes rather easily after several generations of the sword at your throat
and when your own wisemen and elders are completely sold out to the ruling
powers in exchange for faux-glory.
- So remarkable was his birth that astrologers from distant
lands converged upon his location, guided by both ancient portents and
a mysterious moving star, arriving some years after, bringing gifts to
honor the one they knew was born King of all. And yet his own did not receive
him or esteem him, their blindness being complete. While his fellow Jews
sent his weary parents into a filthy dung filled stable hewn out of rock
to bring him into this world, Gentiles from afar came and worshiped at
his feet and brought him the elements worthy of a King -- as was fitting
this one who would turn everything upside down. This early praise
and incredible recognition would not change the course of his life, however.
He would know the back breaking labor of a person of extreme burden, like
the ox bearing a heavy yoke in the thick mud. But he plowed and toiled
just the same, preparing for the time when he would turn and plant seed
which would result in a global transformation heretofore unparalleled in
human history. His soil was the human heart, and his plow was the power
of his words. His seed he called The Good News. This King of all became
servant of all, and labored among those who rejected him, in all humility,
to fulfill all righteousness.
- When he first did open his mouth to speak, he marveled
the highest minds and educated the elder-wise at the age of twelve in an
arena reserved for masters of wisdom from around the world. In matters
of science, law and spirituality, he showed himself to be a richly enlightened
soul far above his peers, even above his masters. Many tales and legends
have trickled down about the origins of his early wisdom... that he was
schooled Egypt, or Tibet, or among the Essenes. It is certainly no robbery
of his divinity among those who regard him by faith as God's only begotten
Son to suggest such progression in perfection, since scripture itself declares,
"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God
and man" (Luke 2:52) and "Though he were a Son, yet learned he
obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became
the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews
5:8-9). However he gained in wisdom, it was such that would revolutionize
humanity forever. He learned, and grew, just as we.
- His wisdom and enlightenment taught us not to hate, but
to love. He revealed that the root of all evil things is born first in
the heart, in the mind and imagination, and there it is just as black and
dreadful as though it were done outwardly in the flesh, and held consequences
just as though they were. This wisdom saw to the core of the matter...
the broken nature of mankind. This wisdom and enlightenment taught that
love was the only verity and truth worthy of any consideration, the only
foundation upon which to build; the very nature of God. And he personified
this truth, this love, this charity, this openness, this grace and this
spirituality. He so perfected it, He was himself the foundation of these
things, being the author of them all. But a blind world would not see that.
A panic stricken, deluded and sick world would slay him rather than behold
- His wisdom and enlightenment
taught us not to rob God, but to leave room for His power to be revealed,
rejecting what we see and hear, not reacting to the world around us instinctively
like brute beasts, but as sons and daughters of God, operating in the supernatural
as well as the natural. He dared us to rely on God and not ourselves.
His justice was sacrificial and selfless; He taught us to put our fellow
before ourselves in all things and at all times -- to give when asked,
not to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing; to return to
child-like innocence and live in trust toward a perfect, Almighty God who
knew the number of hairs on our heads. If someone steals from you, don't
seek it back. If someone robs you of your coat, give him your cloak also.
If someone strikes you, turn and offer him your other cheek to strike as
well. Love those who hate you; Anyone can love someone who loves them back.
But, God loves those who hate Him; therefore, be like God. Be perfect in
this way. Perfect in love. Perfect through love. Love covers a multitude
- Renounce the ways of this world system and overcome the
world, even if it means losing your family... your friends.. your possessions...
your life. Don't value things which are temporal and which decay with time,
but value eternal things. Share what you have with others in need, be charitable
and hospitable always; live in peace with one another. Feed, clothe and
seek the salvation of your worst adversary. Be in the world, but not of
it. Do harm to no one. Do not be vengeful. Bless, and don't curse.
- Protect and adore the little children, for they are so
close to God that their angels see His face day and night. The Kingdom
belongs to ones such as them. Do good to all who persecute you, who laugh
you to scorn, who mistreat you and abuse you. Be happy when they do this
to you, knowing you're in the company of the Sons and Daughters of God,
who suffered before you, and in HIS company. Don't do merely that which
is required or expected of you, go the extra mile. Clothe the naked, feed
those who are hungry, without question. Visit those who are infirm and
imprisoned, giving them hope.
- Peace is the only path; those who seek peace are blessed
by God. Those who war will die by war, they bring upon themselves their
own penalty and curse. Obey the wisdom of God, follow his commandments,
for they are not a burden and lead to a happy life free from want and free
from misery. Listen to the wise, respect elders, cherish and value righteousness,
wisdom and virtue. All good things come from God. Seek first the Kingdom
of God and His righteousness and all the things God knows you need will
be fulfilled as effortlessly as he also feeds the birds. You are as much
a rightful member of nature as any creature here. In fact, you have dominion;
therefore be wise and tend the earth with care. Don't concern yourself
with vanity and externals or things that pass away with consumption --
what you look like, what you wear, what you will eat or drink. Life is
more than food and the body is more than clothing. Don't fret and worry;
it cannot add one moment to the length or quality of your life. Be merciful.
Those who are merciful will obtain mercy. Be forgiving. If you forgive
those who have offended you, you will be forgiven -- even in the same measure.
Seek resolutions quickly and don't hold grudges or anger in your heart.
Happy is the one who does not condemn himself in what he approves. Don't
judge one another. You don't know another person's heart. Be longsuffering
and patient. Be as wise as a serpent, but as innocent as a dove. Love your
neighbor as yourself and God with all your being.
- Though the dates may be all wrong on when this amazing
teacher of truth was actually born, and though this "holiday"
may be steeped in syncretisms and corruptions and commercial pollutions
so thick as to make it truly revolting... let's remember who this remarkable
child grew up to be, what he taught and how he changed the world. There
will always be those who reject him and his claims, and even those who
outright hate him and everything he imparted, or who ignore him by regarding
him as a myth -- but very few completely reject his teachings and wisdom.
If nothing else, we can at the very least take time to recall those truths
and put them in our hearts, and act upon them. For the sake of peace, for
the sake of a good life, for the sake of everyone who benefits from the
simplicity of love, mercy, forgiveness, charity and goodwill.
It even has the power to take fingers off of triggers and turn bombs into
- Merry Christmas!
- "A nation that continues year after year to spend
more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching
spiritual death. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the
revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring
eternal hostility to poverty, racism and militarisms ... We must move past
indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace and justice
throughout the world. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down
the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess
power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without
sight. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter -- but beautiful
-- struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons and daughters
of God." - Martin Luther King
- Hi Jeff and James:
- Re: The Fountainhead of Peace by James Neff
- An artist, webmaster and most assuredly a writer, James
Neff has astounded and amazed me this time. Thank you.
- This piece was arguably the best written OpEd I have
seen all year. In any case, it is most assuredly the most inspiring. As
a writer (on occasion), I can only hope to to one day pen such moving work.
- Merry Christmas and thank you again.
- Wayne A. Coppin
- Kingston, Canada
- Good Evening James:
- Extremely well written and necessary at this point in
time for the world we are presently living in.
- J. Jensen
- p.s. thank you...