Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem… And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:1,11

James Tissot: The Magi Journeying (c. 1890)

What a story to capture the imagination! Something about those lumbering camels, I suppose, and the retinue of servants, possibly armed guards, making the perilous journey across the desert to the Holy Land. Who knows what adventures they encountered along the way?
A few things to bear in mind about the magi, or wise men.
They didn’t arrive the night Jesus was born; that distinction belongs to the “shepherds living in fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night” (Luke 2:8). Rather, based on the detail that King Herod gave orders for all male infants in Bethlehem under the age of two to be killed, Jesus might have been a two-year old toddler when the “Kings of the Orient” arrived at his door.
And if you’re thinking there were three wise men, think again. There may have been a dozen or more. We just don’t know for sure.
Were they “believers”? Again, we don’t know. Perhaps they were Babylonian Jews from the diaspora. Or, perhaps, they were gentiles from Persia (modern-day Iran). Here’s a thought… Maybe they were both Jews and gentiles! For me, it is enough to know that they bowed before the Child King, gave him costly gifts, and worshiped him. Wherever they were from—whatever their race or creed—I count them as his brothers and mine.

And here’s my appeal to you…
You may not be able to bring a gift to the toddler Jesus this year, but you can bring gifts to a ministry that honors him through beautiful films imparting stories of hope. I refer, of course, to Messenger Films, the 501(c)(3) I founded in 1988. Please take a minute to visit our website where you can present your offerings of frankincense and myrrh. Gifts of gold bullion can be sent directly to our home office in Tampa, Florida. I jest, of course (well, sort of), but please consider making your tax-deductible, year-end gift to Messenger Films before midnight December 31, 2019.
And this just in…
One of our donors has committed $130,000 toward the making of The Puzzle Factory film. Our goal before year’s end is to match his generous pledge with an additional $130,000 and start production of winter scenes in early 2020.

Cris Fits Together More Pieces of the Puzzle
We need your help!

Thank you and God bless you,
P.S. Feel free to reply to this email with your comments. I read each one!

Cris has updated his "Director's Reel," which articulates his vision and approach to filmmaking.

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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.

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