In St. Luke’s retelling of the legendary beginnings of the rabbi Y’shua, there is an oft repeated tale of a visit by three “wise men” of the time whose astral calculations told them of the birth of a specially anointed child. Their path to get to him is not recorded among our literature, though one could wish it had been. Hollywood has speculated on that journey, the story carries all the romance and intrigue one would desire in a good tale. What they embody for us is an allegorical journey toward the light.
I have said before that I do not see Y’shua as G-d incarnate. Yet, neither do I see him as an ordinary man. I see him as a type of Buddha, a mentor in Spirit upon whom we can call for enlightenment, and even assistance when needed. I have never doubted the strength and possibilities of faith. Y’shua often said to those he ministered to that their own faith had made them whole. That is pretty incredible, for it implies that we live well below our full potential. Many times he said to those who listened to him that they could become like him. He wasn’t wanting followers to bow to his “glory”, he was wanting brothers to walk at his side, doing the deeds he did, from that time unto the present. If I understand that correctly, we have certainly missed the boat.
I had wondered about his mission’s failure to bring about the kind of living among the common man that he intended, and what he planned on doing about it until I read about a wonderful Jewish teacher called the Baal Shem Tov. I suspect, if that’s him, that he has things well in hand, and will keep coming back and teaching us silly folk until we get it right, for which I am most grateful. Until we understand that the walk along the path is as important as getting there; that how we live each day of our lives, giving, loving, laughing and being true to Spirit is what we are supposed to do, not beat each other over the head or kill for the sake of religion; he will just have to keep coming back to teach each new generation, hoping that someday we get it right.
In the meanwhile, the best thing that we can do is celebrate the greatest gift, the gift of Love. As Spirit teaches us, through Y’shua, through the Baal Shem Tov, through Shakyamuni Buddha, through Ptesin Win, through Mother Theresa, how to love, we can learn each step of the way, to be kind, to be helpful, to be faithful to our teachers. Many blessings to you this season, no matter which Holy Days you observe!