President’s Message – December 2022

Enrique Traver

Hello, dear friends!

My children, like most Christian children, were born and raised celebrating Christmas on December 25th. It was always a magnificent celebration, with all the family members participating happily and celebrating the birth of our Master and sharing the company among all. Furthermore, when they were little, all of them believed in Santa Claus and their happiness was greatly enhanced by the anticipation of the arrival of this sweet imaginary old man bearing presents. I took advantage of this belief of the little ones to bargain with them for good behavior and high performance at school throughout the year. I grew up that way and my kids did too.

At some point, the sweet old man ceased to exist in our lives, we ceased to be children, bringing disappointment, but at the same time, the joy of being together as a family remained, all gathered in fraternization and celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Over time, we learned that the important thing was always being together, celebrating our families and the birth of Jesus.

Readers of The Urantia Book have learned that Jesus was born on the 21st of August, and therefore the date used by mankind is wrong. Some of us resist the idea of ​​celebrating Christmas on December 25th.

I was once questioned for wishing friends a merry Christmas on December 25th at one of The Urantia Book study groups. It did not bother me that I had received a reprimand, but I was worried about the possibility that other readers might also have this type of attitude and, above all, the possibility that some of us take this type of behavior into our families, our communities, which would be a great loss for everyone involved.

Of course, we don’t need to lie, but we also don’t need to be the party pooper. Talking about this date does not prevent us from celebrating the birth of Jesus every day in our hearts; when the true date comes it does not prevent us from taking advantage of the opportunity to be together and celebrate Jesus, fraternize, love, and serve all those around us. The date is not the most important point. The celebration and memory of Jesus is.

The life of Jesus is a revelation of this tolerance, of this living adapted to the uses, customs, and laws of his time. He never stopped going to the synagogues or going to Jerusalem to take each of his brothers on the Passover.

Having met John, who came from near Jerusalem, Jesus began to evince an unusual interest in the history of Israel and to inquire in great detail as to the meaning of the Sabbath rites, the synagogue sermons, and the recurring feasts of commemoration. His father explained to him the meaning of all these seasons. The first was the midwinter festive illumination, lasting eight days, starting out with one candle the first night and adding one each successive night; this commemorated the dedication of the temple after the restoration of the Mosaic services by Judas Maccabee. Next came the early springtime celebration of Purim, the feast of Esther and Israel’s deliverance through her. Then followed the solemn Passover, which the adults celebrated in Jerusalem whenever possible, while at home the children would remember that no leavened bread was to be eaten for the whole week. Later came the feast of the first-fruits, the harvest ingathering; and last, the most solemn of all, the feast of the new year, the day of atonement. While some of these celebrations and observances were difficult for Jesus’ young mind to understand, he pondered them seriously and then entered fully into the joy of the feast of tabernacles, the annual vacation season of the whole Jewish people, the time when they camped out in leafy booths and gave themselves up to mirth and pleasure. [Paper 123:3.5, page 1359.6]

Let’s be happy!  Let’s be pure in heart! We cannot miss the opportunity to be reunited with our family, to celebrate love, to be a living testimony of the presence of Jesus in us. Our mission is to reveal our father to men and to recognize and promote the brotherhood of man. This empathy, this opportunity to reveal Jesus, will certainly open the way to gradually disseminate the truths that have been revealed to us and draw the attention of our loved ones to these realities.

Merry Christmas to all, may Jesus be present in us and may we spread his love abundantly.