My friend’s name is Yeshua.
That’s what his mother, father, brothers, sisters and friends called him.
Just like everyone else, he was born into a world that needed him.
Unlike most everyone else, he was related to a shepherd named David
who was chosen to be a king. Perhaps that explains why shepherds and
kings came to Yeshua’s out-of-the-ordinary birthplace –
a stable in Bethlehem, Judea.
The stars at the time were aligned in a particularly striking way.
His cradle was a manger cuddled with the fresh field-hay
shared with cows, sheep and goats.
Heaven and Nature sang.
As he grew, he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a good
carpenter. He is Jewish. He had a special understanding he was
devoted to sharing with everyone – from all faiths, and no faith – of how
we are to live on Earth, with love as the motivation for all our actions
and loving our neighbours as ourselves.
Somehow the religious and political leaders in his time felt
their authority and power was threatened by his simple,
So when he was only thirty-three,
they sentenced him to death for his ‘radical teachings’.
On the night before he died,
he celebrated the sacred Passover supper with his friends.
At the supper, he gave them – and us – a way to remember him.
He gave thanks to our Creator for all the Life that had given them the food
they were about to eat, and all the Love that had given them the day they
had shared together. He then broke some bread into pieces, and gave
each of his friends a part, telling them that just as the grain in the bread
had given them the gift of its life to nourish their bodies,
so did he give them the gift of his life to nourish their souls.
He then poured a cup of wine and passed it around his table of friends
as a ‘loving cup’, asking them each to take a sip
and share it with the next person.
He told them it was the cup of Love, and Love was the lifeblood
of the new covenant with the Creator.
Then he asked them, as he asks all of us –
to share what life has given us,
so we can nourish those who life brings to us.
At supper’s end he promised he would be with us always,
even unto the end of time.
As he had promised, on the day after he died,
Yeshua showed up in ‘the gardener’ to comfort his friend Mary
who was at his gravesite. She recognized her friend Yeshua in the
gardener, by his words and actions.
A few weeks later, he showed up in ‘a stranger’ who joined
two of Yeshua’s friends as they walked to Emmaus.
They invited the stranger to join them for supper.
At the table he broke bread into pieces for them
and offered them a loving cup of wine to share.
Immediately they recognized Yeshua in the actions of the stranger,
and knew Yeshua was still with them – just as he had promised.
Since then, Yeshua has been showing up everywhere in the world,
in every action of love for one another,
and in the selfless giving of the lilies of the field,
the mustard seed, the birds and the trees, the fish and the sea,
and all the Life sharing our Creator’s creation with us.
This is my friend Yeshua, who introduced himself to me through my
parents and family, through my friends and the ‘gardeners and strangers’
he has led to me, and led me to…
and through a rose, a swan, a painting, a book,
an owl, a set of six stars, and crows.
All these aspects of him and his love,
have captured my attention and then my heart,
and have increased my understanding and our friendship.
His friendship is ‘better than it gets’,
and he would like me to share a taste of how it’s been.
Please enjoy these entries from the diary we have kept for you.