This is a channeled story that Mother Mary told me, and a discussion I had with Jesus in December 2005. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, gave a speech at the United Nations at that time, and while speaking, many people in attendance saw him surrounded with white light. I heard a report of the light surrounding him by Jim Lehrer on the PBS News Hour.

Mother Mary:
Immanuel means God with us. This is the meaning that Joseph and I took from the angel’s message, and we expected that this child would bring the presence of God to our lives and the lives of many people. We had no idea how the child would do this: at what age, to what people, etc. We were quite struck by the angel’s message: “Do not be afraid, for I am providing you with the way to make these events come to pass. If you do not wish to take on the task of bearing and rearing this child, then you need not do so, for we wish to honor your choice. Your life with this child will not be easy, but will be rich and challenging.”

Joseph and I spoke together at great length when the angel departed. We discussed what difficulties we might face, and held each other close, to face and cope with our fears. What would it mean to have a child who would make God manifest to humans? The God we knew was deep, demanding, paradoxical, unpredictable, and potentially destructive. What would a child do who would embody these characteristics? Would it be possible to have other children, and a normal family life? If we didn’t take on this task, who would do it? Why were we chosen? We didn’t feel so different from all the people around us. The prospects were disturbing, and the pregnancy was not easier.

We arranged our wedding soon after the angel appeared to us, a quiet, small, orthodox wedding, not so different from what you might see today in a strict Jewish community. Joseph was in his mid-twenties, and I but 16. He had his family business, and I joined him in a new house he built near his parent’s house. It was a great change for me, because his family, though religious, was intertwined with construction and merchandizing. My family, in contrast, was primarily religiously centered, with few secular interconnections.

What they talked about — the time they got up and went to bed, their constant interactions with Romans, Persians, and other peoples from all over the known world — was such a large change for me. I sought each day to find a place of peace, for that was the norm in my family. Such a place was not available, and I was quite uncomfortable with my pregnancy. It seemed to be a very difficult way to start a marriage and family. I wondered why God would require such chaos and disruption in order to become more manifest in the world. I thought that, indeed, I might die in childbirth, for such seemed an appropriate outcome for such a manifestation.

As the pregnancy grew on, the chaos and demands upon me in my new life increased. There were many business associates to meet and to serve, for Joseph was deeply involved in building the business, and social contacts leading to business contracts were a daily part of his, and my, work. His family was always present in our house, and time of quiet prayer, which had been the focus of my life, was no longer available.

It is interesting that your Christmas time these days has some of the same characteristics. Clearly, God becomes manifest in all levels of the world, not just in quiet prayer.

Yet, quiet prayer was my sustenance, even though it could be only while I lie awake in the night, awaiting sleep.

The news that we had to go to Bethlehem for a census was mixed, for me. It was a bit of a financial challenge, for Joseph had to be away from his business for quite some time, though it seemed he also would be able to make business contacts for the future. For me, there was some promise of quiet evenings among women friends and relatives, and fewer family demands, despite the arduous travel involved. Overall, I was happy for the break. I expected to be uncomfortable anywhere. The child was coming to term, and I was large and clumsy. The chances of having the child while we were away from home were very great. Childbirth was usually dangerous, and childbirth away from home even more so. What is it about God becoming manifest that requires it to be so difficult?

Jesus:
Dear younger brother, I am here with you. I wish to address this previous question, for it is this reason that I come into this world. Jerome, the love of God burns within me, burns so strongly that no earthly conditions can begin to dim it. You can feel this in your center even now as I speak. For the earthly conditions do not touch this love. It is who we are under any conditions. It is only this understanding which can make sense of my life and my death. It is only this understanding which can make sense of my continuing commitment to the upliftment of the human race. It is only this understanding which can evoke in me the fulfillment of my true nature, human and divine. You know these same sentences apply equally well to you, and to all who hear these words.

God does not require this difficulty of us, but we take it upon ourselves to move toward the deepening and fulfillment of our divine nature. With the burning love of God within us, we react to the cares of the world only with compassion and shared joy, despite the apparent suffering of those around us.

What can bring us to peace in the face of war, poverty, injustice, and abuse? How can we look upon a city and its people devastated by hurricane, tsunami, or earthquake with joy and peace? It is only when we find in our hearts the continuing burning love of God. It is only when we discover that the love of God is the solution for all these devastating events that we can be free to be who we truly are: aspects of the Divine manifested and manifesting in the earth plane. Is it then we who are the cause of the suffering of our brothers and sisters, or is it consequences of their own actions, or is it because of “bad people” or “demons”? I tell you, Jerome, to see clearly requires that we see that only good consequences come from all these apparently negative people and events. It is the love of the Father who surrounds us in every moment. What we, others, or demonic forces create through our “bad” choices is always balanced by God, and utilized for our benefit, and the benefit of the whole.

I know that it is hard to see things from this perspective. Yet, this is the only truth: that God’s love is the predominant force, indeed, the only force worthy of consideration in our lives. It is this understanding that makes sense of my life, and of life for each of you.

I ask for your help in understanding, then, the situation where the Iranian president, in deep sincerity, feels the presence of God around him as he addresses the United Nations, while an observer actually sees an apparent divine light surrounding him, even as he calls for the destruction of Israel…

(I am shocked! I just found and read the entire text of Ahmadinejad’s speech on a website, and it appeared more balanced, more spiritual, more clear, and less influenced by subterfuge or hidden agendas of power than equivalent speeches by presidents of western democracies. He did not call for destruction of Israel, but for the end of state-sponsored terrorism against the Palestinian peoples.)

Then are there no “bad people,” who seek power even if at the cost of life and decency among many people?

Jesus:
There are indeed such “bad people,” though they may not be visible in the media. But, I tell you, Jerome, just as in our lifetimes 2,000 years ago, all these negative people are of very little or no significance in the development of your soul and your spirit, unless you choose to emulate their actions, or to focus a hatred toward them. A burning love of God and God’s presence in all that surrounds you will make your life meaningful and fulfilling. Our task, our joint task, is to aid ourselves and those around us to come to that clarity of understanding, and purity of intent. We can do this, together.

A few days later…
I have further observations and questions about Ahmadinejad. Some recent quotations:
Ahmadinejad sparked widespread international condemnation in October when he called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”

Last week, he also expressed doubt about the killing by the Nazis of six million Jews during World War II, but Wednesday was the first occasion when he said in public that the Holocaust was a myth.
“They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech to thousands of people in the Iranian city of Zahedan, according to a report on Wednesday from Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

“The West has given more significance to the myth of the genocide of the Jews, even more significant than God, religion, and the prophets,” he said. “(It) deals very severely with those who deny this myth but does not do anything to those who deny God, religion, and the prophet.”
“If you have burned the Jews, why don’t you give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to Israel,” Ahmadinejad said.

“Our question is, if you have committed this huge crime, why should the innocent nation of Palestine pay for this crime?” [read link]

It seems that Ahmadinejad is definitely ramping up conflict with the West, perhaps toward violence, perhaps toward breaking through assumptions and prejudices. It seems likely to me that he truly was connected with Divine energy in his UN speech. If so, does that energy carry forward to his divisive statements on Wednesday? Is war between East and West part of the Divine Plan?

Jesus:
I am with you, Jerome. I am indeed saddened by the hate and conflict heightened in the world through world leaders. Prejudices and assumptions of mistrust predominate on all sides. These manipulations by persons in power have to do with their own particular agendas, not the Divine Plan. The Divine Plan does not require that humans transition to a new plane of consciousness through hatred or violent conflict.

Just where does that line become crossed between open truth-telling, dramatization, and raising the level of distrust leading toward ever-increasing hostilities? The gospels present my words as if I used exaggeration and imagery to inflame resentment against corrupt authorities. I tell you, I used no such imagery and words, though people sometimes perceived my direct truth-telling as hostility.

God relates to us only through unconditional love, and asks us to relate to each other in the same way. You have experienced this request directly. [elaborated in Jerome’s prior article “A Revelation on Rollerblades.”]

If someone is in the light and energy of God at one time, does this mean he is God’s representative on earth, and can do no wrong? Each person has the opportunity in each moment to relate to others around them with unconditional love. Yet, each person is a product of his own experience and perceptions. The flow of Divine energy follows unconditional love, and truth, and as each person yields to these energies, each person is within the light and sphere of God. Neither East nor West has a consistent, clear ability to speak and act within this sphere.

I ask you, here and now, to commit to these principles: to speak and act from a base of truth and unconditional love. These two together provide the basis for peace, harmony, and love that express the ideals of my birth into this world, and Christmas in your culture.

And what of the statements in the Gospels that you bring not peace but the sword, and pit family members against family members. In service to truth and justice, is judgment or violence against another human ever justified?

Jesus:
I tell you, Jerome, life and death are subject to the purposes of spirit, and the purposes of spirit are not to be abrogated by any human, or used for overpowering the rights of another human. Each person is of infinite value, and beyond judgment. Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. That is universal law, not to be enforced by human will or action. We must learn to trust in God, and not to seek to implement our understanding of God’s will to the detriment of our fellow humans. God’s will for humans can best be known through the combined understanding of all persons involved, unified in the energies of truth and unconditional love. We can create this unity across all barriers of religion, race, nationalism, family, or tribe. An individual person’s beliefs do not ever clearly represent the Divine view. Nor does any single organization present the complete truth.

This principle holds true as well for any representation of my words in my life as Immanuel. I was but one person, with one experience, living out my understanding of Divine truth with all the clarity and love that I could bring.

Just as the babe in the cradle does not express ultimate truths for all time, neither does the Christ on the cross. God speaks through each person, and through all persons. No other view of God would be as complete.

When does Spirit intervene in history? At the birth of every child.

When does Divine truth come to fulfillment? In the life of every human.

If you wish to see God in the world, where do you look? Inside and outside. Here and there. Yin and Yang. East and West. Up and down. Above and Below. Now and then.

I am with you all days, even unto the end of the world.

A few days later, just before Christmas…
Mother Mary:
We are with you, Jerome. Let us continue with the story. When Joseph and I arrived in Bethlehem, we first looked for a place to stay. I knew that I was coming close to time, and this indeed added to the stress of finding a place. Joseph’s business in signing up for the tax roles would take an uncertain amount of days, and so we wished to find a place that would allow us some stability for a number of days. Normally, we could have stayed with relatives, but this time, the relatives already had many visitors, and their houses were quite far from where Joseph needed to be. He wished to stay close to me at this time, so what we wanted was quite specific, and, I might add, also just what many others wanted, as well. So, when the innkeeper suggested that we stay in his barn as a place for birthing, we were quite content. Many of our relatives who had traveled with us stayed in the barn as well, and some in the inn itself. It was indeed helpful to have this arrangement, for we had access to the supplies from the house, as well as the freedom and privacy of the barn.

I had begun contractions even as we came close to Bethlehem, so the innkeeper’s offer was very timely. One of my cousins was a trained midwife. She had come with us to aid in the birthing, so she immediately set up the space for my giving birth. Of course, we were all very excited. I was especially excited, and somewhat anxious as well. Neither Joseph nor I had told our relatives about the visit from the angel, and the child’s unusual conception. I didn’t feel free to discuss my fears about the possibility of my impending death in childbirth with anyone but Joseph. He quickly denied such a possibility when I mentioned it, but he couldn’t really hide his own concern. We were really stepping out into the unknown.

In my training in the temple, I had been told that one of a group of us girls may be chosen to bring forth a boy who could grow up to be the Messiah. I didn’t expect that it would be me, because I was so ordinary. My friends all seemed to have special gifts, in weaving, in studying, in learning to pray, in leadership, in health and endurance. My special gift was in liking everyone, and in staying happy. These qualities didn’t seem to me to be important for someone connected with an important task like the Messiah. I couldn’t understand why the angel would address me as “blessed among women.”

And so, when I completed my task of bearing the future Messiah, it seemed to me that my job would be done, and the contact with the sacred and the divine would likely require that I let go of my life. So, with each contraction and push, I could give it my all, letting go of my own life each time as well. The birthing was truly for me a time of complete dedication and transformation. Over and over as a girl in the temple, I had dedicated myself to whatever God would ask of me. But all that seemed but a game, when now, in every moment, with all my effort, all of my existence could vanish in an instant. The physical pain of the birth seemed unimportant, compared to the effort and dedication that I had to give.

And the child, being born, was to me, like to every mother, worth every doubt, fear, discomfort, and tear that I had shed. My exhaustion flowed into a state of fulfillment and peace as the child lay in my arms, and suckled my breast. I could not feel anything besides the intensity of my awe and wonder.

And when the shepherds came, just a few hours after the birth, telling of appearances of angels, my awe and wonder could only increase. What sort of God is it who can arrange such a series of wondrous events, even in the midst of such regular daily occurrences? Could this be a God to whom I can speak in my heart, and not be struck down for such brashness? Could this be a God who can accompany me through every daily event, to find the meaning and impact upon all creation? Such thoughts and prayers began to be part of my every day, even as I sought to serve and obey.

What I wish to tell you next may be a surprise, for in your time, my son and I appear to you larger than life. I tell you, we are ordinary people, just like you. Or, another way of saying the same thing: you are extraordinary people, larger than life, just like we are.

Many of you have experienced the miracle of birth, just as I have. Many of you have witnessed angelic messengers, telling you about your life purpose, just as I have. Many of you have suffered traumas, and discouragements, and depressions, just as I have. What is different about us is that we have come to know and love the God that is within and around us, with all our hearts and souls and minds. And you can do this too. You only need to ask, and pay attention to the response that you feel within your depths. This is the God who shares with you every waking and sleeping moment. This is the God who cares more for you than you do for yourself, and who protects and guides you, so that you are truly beyond harm in every moment.

And this is the God who is one with all other people, including myself and my son.

As we celebrate together the birth of my son, I want you to know that I also care about you, as does my son, and we are also present with you. For as we have come to know and love God, we have become more aware of our oneness in the Divine energy, and our oneness therefore with each of you, as well. So, celebrate this birth of the Divine within yourself, for we are all there, in the oneness of the Infinite Divine Source. This oneness is not just a nice metaphor, but a living, actual reality, perceivable to many people now, and to all people in a little while. And so, we rejoice together on this day. For this day is a new day, a day of ever increasing brightness and joy, a day of opening to our oneness, to our Christedness, to our fulfillment, and to the peace that we share in God.

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