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KYC this Christmas

At that time [AD 30, Galilee, present day Israel] Jesus declared, “……… All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.  Matthew 11: 25-27


The States of Jersey accomplishes many unsung things. For instance earlier this year the Money Laundering (Jersey) Order 2008 was made – it came into force on 4 February 2008 and is a vital part of Jersey’s armoury against crime.


Jersey is keen to be clean in its business relationships in the financial services arena – and keen to be seen to be clean. So it requires all financial services businesses to undertake KYC (know your customer) due diligence procedures every time a new business relationship is established.


“Business relationship”? Yes. In the Order, “business relationship” means a business, professional or commercial relationship ...... which is expected ...... at the time when contact is established, to have an element of duration.


“Element of duration?” Yes, a lasting relationship.


That’s why, if you have opened a new bank account of recent times, you will have been asked for a Passport, original utility bills, original bank statements and the like – because a lasting relationship is intended.


This is December – Christmas month. How about the time, 30 years later, when the Christmas baby has grown into a 30-year-old man and is saying, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”?


This young man, Jesus Christ, is trying to enter into relationships with “an element of duration”. Time for a KYC then….Who is this Jesus? Who is the one who was born in Bethlehem 30 years ago and is now (AD 30) inviting the needy to come to him?


Permanent address? Nazareth. Not a good place, this town where he lived until a few months ago. The town council, when he returns there, provides some verification of identity – with a hint of real opprobrium: “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters here with us?” So…. He’s “the son of Mary” with the implication, “we don’t know who the father was”…. He’s a carpenter; forget his wisdom and his mighty works.


KYC never takes references from an applicant’s family. But the Compliance Department has received strange information about his mother’s viewpoint in AD 30: “Then Jesus went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind”” He’s out of his mind and needs to be in a secure place for his own good….., forget the crowds who are following him and those being totally blessed by him.


But KYC does take references from important people. Here’s one from several leading teachers and writers of law reports (“scribes”) – and, significantly, they’re from the capital city (Jerusalem) not locals – they must be credible and unbiased: “He is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” He’s not just demon-possessed – he is Satanic. ….. Forget the fact that he is releasing many, many folk from all the evil and illness and even death in their lives.


How should one respond to his call: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”?


Should a relationship “with an element of duration” be entered into with this man, formerly the Bethlehem baby? Should I still go to a Carol Service?

‘Who is he in yonder stall/ At whose feet the shepherds fall?/ ‘Tis the Lord O wondrous story/ ‘Tis the Lord the King of glory’ (Benjamin Hanby, American composer, 1833-1867)
‘Jesus was never guarding himself, but always invading the lives of others with his holiness.’ (Phillips Brooks, American Pastor, 1835-1893)
Richard Syvret

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