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Dear Friends,

We warmly invite you to watch this video of a play done by our brothers and sisters in the Community of Pulaski, Tennessee. Retelling the birth of the Savior in a fresh way, it opens up new vistas into His life and the dreadful times He lived in — times not unlike ours. As the opening lines state, “As you probably know, that baby didn’t stay a baby. He grew up to live an exemplary life, and He gave clear commands which all who wish to follow Him must obey.”

Perhaps this play will do for you what it does for us: rekindle the desire to serve and follow Him. Keeping His commands is the beginning of following Him, not the end or goal to be attained to after many years and much study. How many think that His words could not ever be obeyed in “the real world” they live in? What cold, cheerless comfort to say to ourselves, “I guess such faith and such love were for back then, not for today.”

The other “famous” night in Bethlehem, when Herod’s soldiers took the life of every male child two years old and younger, stands in shocking contrast to the Savior’s quiet birth. Their sons slaughtered before their eyes, the mothers of Bethlehem wept uncontrollably. How deep the darkness that lay over the city that night.

But… what if He had stayed a baby? What if He too had fallen victim to Herod’s wrath? What difference would it have made? Surely He would still have been a blameless, perfect lamb! Was it just the death of the Son of God that made atonement for our sins? Why did He have to grow up to manhood to be the sacrifice for our sins?

After all, it was as a man that He said all the troubling, inconvenient, and politically incorrect things that got Him in trouble. Wouldn’t it have been better if He hadn’t said them? They were the words and deeds that got Him crucified. Is that the real message of His life: Better not do what He did or you’ll end up where He did!

Yet those words still trouble the souls of so many who wonder, in the privacy of their own hearts, whether they have truly believed in Him. If they have, shouldn’t they be living as He did? Shouldn’t they do what He said? If He had never said anything, would His silence weigh on the souls of those who celebrate His humble birth as His words do now? For so many, the Savior on the cross and the baby Jesus in the manger mean virtually the same thing — mere symbols of a hope of a life after death, displayed at different times of the year. Is that all there is to His message?

No Sacrifice Would be Too Great

The concluding narration from the play expresses what those momentous and terrible events surrounding the birth of the Savior meant to Him:

Some of the most important events in human history have taken place in small towns. This particular event was very significant to the parents of the children who died. And it was significant to the intended victim, Yahshua, the only child who escaped that night.

It was incidents like these that formed the conviction in Yahshua’s young heart that no sacrifice would be too great if it would bring such evil and injustice to an end. It was this conviction that caused Him to sacrifice His own life for the sake of others. It is the conviction that causes all who follow Him to do the same. It is eternal — the same yesterday, today, and forever.

And these words express our heart and purpose in life, too, as the renewed nation of Twelve Tribes, spiritual Israel, gathered from the nations to fulfill all that the prophets have spoken. If such words stir your heart, too, then do more than watch this moving little video. Come and see a people living by the same Spirit that brought all these things to pass.

For the Communities of the Twelve Tribes,

Kevin Carlin

 

First sent out as Newsletter 11 on December 30, 2012.