December, 1986


“And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room at the Inn.”

How many times have these simple words been used at the beginning of the Christmas story! Still, Try as we may, we can find no better way to begin this one. All of the story of the birth, the life, the ministry, and even the death of Jesus of Nazareth, is one of extreme simplicity and of constant rejection. Born to parents without lands, wealth or social position, there was no room for him in the caste system of society that prevailed in his time. Because he stressed giving rather than receiving, there was no room for him in the marts of trade or the halls of the money changers. Because he preached humility and condemned arrogance, he was shunned by the ruling classes. Because he said, “Thou shalt love thine enemy,” he was despised and denounced as a traitor by those in military service. Wherever he went, the answer was the same. “There is no room in our society for anyone with ideals and philosophy that are so completely contrary to every rule of success we have ever been taught.”

Public indignation at the apparent perversity of his teaching eventually reached a point where he was seized, tried for treason, and, even though his judge said, “I find no fault in this man!,” still he was condemned; not by the ruling hierarchy of the day, but by the outcry of his own people.

The terrorists, the bomb builders and revenge seekers of the world today, who go about their gory work of murdering innocent men, women and children, shouting, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” have forgotten, if they ever knew, that Jesus of Nazareth, after he had been publicly humiliated and ridiculed, and after he had been beaten, jeered at, spat upon, after a crown of thorns had been forced upon his bleeding head and he had been nailed to a cross, had only one thing to say about his torturers.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

The Centurion who had supervised the execution probably walked away brushing his hands and muttering to himself, “This is the last we will ever hear of that foolish Nazarine and his ridiculous teachings.

During all of his ministry, Jesus never had any kind of home. When questioned about his dwelling place Jesus said, “The fowls of the air have their nests, and the foxes have their holes, but the Son-of-man has not where to lay his head.” The final humiliation came when Jesus was taken down from the cross. There was no proper place to put his body, so that he had to be buried in another man’s tomb! (It was really only a short loan since Jesus only used it for three days.)

By all of the standards of success that are used today, Jesus of Nazareth would have to be judged to be the greatest failure of all time, yet today, almost two thousand years later, hundreds of millions of persons throughout the world, spend many hours of their time and much of their money, preparing to celebrate the birth of this simple man, and the God given philosophy which is now preached everywhere, even though most of it has never been put into practice.

During the centuries that have passed since the birth of Jesus, mankind has learned to make room for him in thousands of churches, large and small; hundreds of huge and magnificent cathedrals and countless monuments. If man could only learn to make room in his heart for the simple but Divine truths which Jesus taught, His task on earth would at last be finished, and Earthman might even begin to be considered as a successful species!

During the coming Christmas season, while we rush around in our annual struggle to complete the many tasks and duties that have come to be traditional at this time, why don’t we try, for a few days, or even a few hours to actually put into effect some of the teachings and advice of the ONE whose birth we celebrate? It won’t be easy, but it might be rewarding.

After all, we have been hearing about them for several thousands of years and, who knows? They might really work!

(signed) Daniel W. Fry

The remodeling, about which you’ve heard for so long, has finally begun, and on a large scale!

New gas lines covering over 75 ft in length, must be installed. When a house is vacant for several years, seals in plumbing dry out and faucets leak when a water meter is again turned on, so all plumbing needs care, as does the entire house! It is a large and time consuming task.

Dust and dirt collect over the years, and windows become equally dirty.

All of my time for some time to come, will be totally consumed by this work and over-seeing much being done to the grounds, hedges, lawns and on and on.

Paint is being bought in 5 gallon containers for exterior and interior, and ditto for the long fencing. This will go on for some months – then the moving of furniture and all belongings. Oh!

There will be no time for letter writing to anyone or to do ‘my half of the newsletter.  As they say – “I’ll see you later,”, but I don’t know when!! Dr. Fry will do the newsletter, and I will be thinking of you all as I work. ‘Till this is over, I can only send love to each of you. Meanwhile, let me wish for each of you, the most glorious Christmas you’ve ever known, and also, glorious brand New Year!!

(signed Cleona Q. Fry)

P.S. Don’t forget to pray for our world and the total PEACE we so eagerly seek, and so deeply need!