Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Emergency Preparedness For the First Christmas

Mary and Joseph were savvy preppers. Joseph made sure Mary had a donkey to ride on because of her advanced state of pregnancy. He did not give up when turned away due to crowding at local accommodations. He persisted until adequate, even though unorthodox shelter was found. He adapted to his circumstances, substituting a cattle manger for a baby crib.

Mary, even though she was only an innocent Jewish teenager, came prepared for childbirth. She brought swaddling clothes since she knew she could give birth at any time, and wanted her baby to be warm and comfortable.

Mary very likely made her baby clothes. We know that she was a skilled weaver because when the soldiers at the crucifixion wanted to split up his clothes, they decided to cast lots, instead of cutting up his valuable garments which were woven in one piece.

That means that Mary had spent time staying in the Temple in Jerusalem, which was where they learned how to do such fancy weaving at the time. This time in the Temple in Jerusalem, likely means that Mary had been dedicated as first born for service in the Temple.

Mary would therefore have been unusually well educated in scripture for a woman of her time. We know that Joseph was a carpenter by trade, so he probably was less educated in scripture than Mary was.

It is very likely that Mary passed on her knowledge of scripture to Jesus, as a child. We know that he got lost from Mary and Joseph on a trip and amazed scholars with his knowledge and wisdom. 

We know that Joseph taught Jesus his trade of carpentry, since Jesus was later referred to as a carpenter.

We have a big gap in what we know about the life of Jesus. There is not much in between his childhood whiz kid status, amazing scholars, and his adult life in public.

Since we know that Mary shared the benefits of her scriptural education with Jesus we can surmise that part of his missing years were spent in the Temple in Jerusalem. 

Both Mary and Joseph were devout people whose religion was very important to them. This means that they would have dedicated their first fruits, or their first born, for service in the Temple in Jerusalem. We can be more sure of this because of Mary's experience there.

As soon as I first found out about the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, I was very excited about them. This is because the older an ancient hand written document is, the more accurate it is likely to be. It will have been copied many fewer times. 

Yes, I know that Jewish scribes go through an incredible process to maintain their accuracy. I also know that the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient documents found sealed up in jars were often dud copies. 

Sometimes when you are copying scripture, you just get sort of taken over and your hand goes off and does it's own thing regardless of what your brain is saying to it. My take on that is that one's hand has just been co-opted by another spirit besides one's own. 

It is one way of getting prophecies, but it can be difficult to tell if it is a good one or not. It has been the way of cautious religious scholars to take the safe approach and seal those "ghost written" writings away safely for somebody else to deal with.

Now that Google has put the Dead Sea Scrolls out there for all of us, the somebody else is anybody who wants to be. That is a wonderful opportunity for those who choose to take it. Now is a chance for you to boost your spiritual preparedness and take a look at the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

Some scholars think that Jesus spent time with some of the people responsible for writing the Dead Sea Scrolls. I don't want to go into that now. This post is long enough, especially since it is still supposed to be a special day. 

I hope that this post is a special one for you, regardless of your spirituality and set of beliefs. 

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