Christmas always comes like a thief in the night for some and is dragged in and propped up around halloween by others. The difference may be the need or willingness or reluctance to express whatever joy, or lack thereof, that accompanies the holiday. That said, the Washingtons were not not feeling it but the members of the housechurch were. By this time, the Harhashes were aware of the guest living in their camper, and because they were convinced that Unity was neglected by Rosy and Reagan, they helped protect her.
One day, shortly after Thanksgiving, Douglass and Samah and their families, along with Unity, were sitting in the Harhash living room, discussing the plans for the upcoming live Nativity.
This created an interesting discussion:
While all agreed on what happened that day, and that dark skinned people were in the Holy Manger, rather than light skinned people, Unity and Doug politely questioned how a Jew and a Muslim might come to agree on the Sacredness of the Nativity. For the Harhashes, there was a simple explanation. Ms. Harhash began: “Although I was always taught that Jesus was a prophet and nothing more, as I matured and read the Quran for myself, I found things that made me question that. For example, in Surah 3 Verse 47, Mary how she could have a baby even though no man has touched her – that seems to affirm the virgin birth to me, which distinguishes Jesus from other prophets. And again in Surah 67 Verse 12, I found this:
And Mary the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into her Our Spirit; and she testified to the Truth of the Words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout.
I found the same story of the virgin birth, conceived by Allah Himself, in Surah 19 starting at Verse 19.”
Unity then questioned: “Why do you still call God “Allah” if you are a Christian? Isn’t that the Muslim God?”
Mr. Harhash perked up at this and said “I can get this this one! Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. The word itself is no more a part of any one religion than the word dinero, or franc, or dollar is the word for money. Allah is more a language thing than a religion thing.”
Ms. Harhash smiled and continued: “The confusion comes in the fact that the Quran also says that ‘It is not befitting the majesty of God that He should beget a son,’ in Surah 19 Verse 35. Well this got awfully confusing, and to make a long story short, I reconciled the problems with the Christian Bible, which the Quran recognizes as Scripture – in Surah 5 Verse 46 – and discovered that there are contradictions in the Quran with the rest of Scripture. That’s when I became a Christian.”
“Wow,” said Douglass, “I had no idea the Quran recognizes the Bible or the Virgin Birth.”
“Yes! Even if I were still a Muslim, I would respect the Nativity!” said Ms. Harhash.
“What about you, Mr. Harhash?” Unity prompted, “How did you arrive at Christianity?”
“Well mine is shorter. I studied the Torah enough – specifically Isaiah – that once someone convinced me to study the newer books I found that Jesus actually fulfilled the prophecies about the Messiah. That’s when I felt Yahweh telling me the to accept the Truth. The rest is history.”
“And now you guys are a happy family,” said Unity, “in spite of your differences. I wish I could make it work with the Washingtons like that. But I’m afraid to show my face at this point.”
“We will pray that this will work out,” encouraged Ms. Harhash, “God may have a plan in all this after all. In the meantime, who will be who in our Nativity, and where can we find some sheep?”
Douglass answers: “I don’t know about sheep, but Mr. and Mrs. Harhash can be Mary and Joseph, and Samah and I can be wise men coming from somewhere in the East, and Unity could be an Angel. She could sit on top of the manger and with the lights, no one will recognize who she really is.”
“Good thinking Douglass! This will be the authentic looking nativity this town has ever seen!” exclaimed Samah.
“I don’t know why people are always making Jesus white . . . maybe it’s because they would rather have Jesus be like them than deal with them not being like Jesus.” – Douglass