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December 26th

                                                  HEROD’S REVENGE

Today the tiny hamlet of Bethlehem is flowing in blood.  Herod’s squad team swooped down on the citizens of Bethlehem intent on killing all the boys two years old or younger.  No one escaped their fury.  The soldiers shucked off cries for mercy and if a  parent tried to be heroic they were also killed.  Their mission completed the butcher soldiers rushed back to Jerusalem to tell Herod of their accomplishment.


December 25th

                                                 FLEE TO EGYPT

This is the story Joseph told me about their hasty departure.

“An angel appeared to me and told me to get Mary and Jesus and leave immediately because King Herod was sending his mob squad with orders to kill every boy baby in Bethehem two years old or younger.  Using the dark of night for cover I found the nearest camel caravn station and asked for an Egyptian passport.”


December 24

                                               MY THRONE ISN’T FOR SALE

Herod hasn’t had a peaceful moment since those eastern scholars showed up asking about a future Judean king, destined to rule the world.  Our primary source tells us he had a royal fit when he realized the eastern scholars didn’t return to share their information with him.  Rumor has it he’s sending his special death squad team to Bthlehem with orders to decimate any young usurper.


December 23rd

A special reporter’s observations:

The moment we left Jerusalem and came upon the road to Bethlehem, the special star mentioned by the scholars, shone brightly.  Within an hour the star hovered over a small house on the outskirts of Bethlehem.

The stargazers reigned in their camels and asked the couple living there if they had a young son.  Mary and Joseph, having becomed used to unusual vistors end events, nodded and asked them to come inside and meet their son.

The eastern scholars explained their mission and left gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the young lad.

I noted they didn’t return to Jerusalem but followed another route toward their homeland.  It seems this group of wise men saw right through the pretend concerns of King Herod.


Gazette  News Flash

The Jerusalem Gazette office will be closed from Dec. 23rd-Dec. 25th.  It will be open again very late on the night of  Dec. 26th.

Meanwhile  Editor-in-Chief Mason wishes for you and yours a most blessed Christmas.  I hope all  the things on my little friends lists  have been tweeted to Santa and  find their way to your home space.

Today I’m reflecting on how different my Christmas Eve celebration is now as compared to when I was five.
My sister, three years older than me, pinched me with gusto when I ratted on her because she had plans to get up after Mama went looking for Santa’s gifts.  She was putting a obstacle in Santa’s way and I was dead set on giving him my full approval. I fell asleep and when I awoke lo, and behold, Santa had come and our bleak farm setting sang with laughter!

Late this afternoon I will join a small group of brelievers in an Espiscopal retreat center for worship and then return to River Myst Haven to dine with Alan and Timothy who make the word family come alive.  They spoil me rotten for five days in a row and I do nothing to stop them!


December 21


                                           WHO ARE THESE GUYS?

A group of scholars from the Mid-east arrived in Jerusalem today and asked for an audience with King Herod.  They parked their camels in front of the king’s palace and upon entering the palace were given the red carpet treatment.

Their statesman said, “For sometime we’ve been studying a special star.  We believe it belongs to a baby who someday will be the king of the Jews.  Can you tell us where we might find him?”

That got Herod’s attention.  He gave orders to his scholars to search the scrolls until they found the answer.


                                                     SORTING OUT THE HERODS

Herod the Great is the Herod of the nativity story.  He was a puppet king for Caesar Augustus and the despised half-breed King of Israel.  Herod was a master buildeer but is identified mostly for his part in trying to trick the magi and when they didn’t do things his way he had all the male children in Bethlehem two years or younger massacred.  Herod died in A.D. 6 and his kingdom was divided between his three sons:  Herod Archelaus and Herod Antipas were brothers and Herod Philip was their half-brother.

Herod Archelaus ruled over half of Israel, including Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  He was so ruthless that the Roman Emperor Augustus had him removed in two years after his father’s death.  At that time Rome instigated having procurators in charge of keeping the peace in Israel where riots and uprisings were common.  During Christ’s young adult years Pontius Pilate held this position.

Herod Antipas ruled in Galilee.



One of our Temple reporters spotted Mary and Joseph in line to have Jesus confirmed.  The moment Mary handed Jesus to Simeon the old man began exclaiming about how he thought he’d never live to see this day and then he had to spoil things by saying the life of Jesus and that of his mother would be marked by sorrow.  An elder woman minister, named Anna, came over to see whom Simeon was carrying on about.  Upon seeing the child she added her confirmation blessings.

Twenty Cherubs

 Twenty cherubs, their tiny bodies riddled by mega-powered weapons in the hands of a deranged young adult, has sent ripples of shock throughout the civilized world!

Do you hear their frightened cries?  Are we listening to the heartbreak of stunned parents, siblings, friends, and neighbors?  How about the brave teachers and administrators who chose death over doing nothing?  Will we weep for a season and then move on to life-as-usual?

I must confess a part of me is angry that a nation as great and wonderful as America has not long ago found ways of effectively dealing with this multi-faceted, complex problem.

Some wag has asked, “Where was God?”

With tears in his eyes Jesus called each of his tiny cherubs by name and wrapped each of them in his loving arms.   As one of the cherub’s mother said, “All twenty of them have joined hands around heaven’s throne.”

Lord, love is a verb.  May those who make and enforce the laws of our land have the courage to do the right thing about gun control in America.



Shepherd interview continued

If you thought yesterday’s report was rare then listen up.  “Suddenly the sky was full of angels 

singing, or were they chanting their praises to God?  Having finished their task the angels 

disappeared and we took off running and didn’t stop until we found a baby in a manger.”

Our reporters had an all points check and no one in Jerusalem has reported any unusual phenomeenaa in the sky last night and I’m certain no outer space people made a visit to our fair city.


If you were God, would you announce the birth of your son to vagrant shepherds or to the power brokers of Jerusalem?



                                                     PICTURE THIS

Our ace reporter went right to the source for this choice bit of information.

Shepherds say that while they were taking care of their sheep a heavenly being, the likes of which none of them had ever seen, appeared and began talking to them.  After telling them to quit shaking he shared some great news:  God’s son has been born and if we hurried into Bethlehem we’d find him in a manger.  (This interview is to  be continued tomorrow.)