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Showing posts with the label #Time

Candlemas: Remembering when Jesus got presented in temple.

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In Leviticus the L ORD told Moses the following. Leviticus 12.1-8 KWL 1 The L ORD told Moses, 2 “When you speak to Israel’s children, say, This is about a woman who conceives and bears a male. She’s ritually unclean seven days, just like she’s unclean during the days of her period. 3 On the eighth day, circumcise the flesh of the baby’s foreskin. 4 Have the mother sit 33 days, for purification from blood. She must n’t touch anything holy, can’t come to sanctuary, till her purification days are full. 5 If she bears a female, she’s unclean two weeks, like her period; have her sit 66 days, for purification from blood. 6 When the mother’s purification days are full, for a son or daughter, she must bring a lamb, born that year, for a burnt offering, and a pigeon chick, or dove, for a sin offering. Bring them to the meeting tent’s door, to the priest. 7 The priest offers it to the L ORD ’s face, to cover the mother . She’s now ritually clean from

St. Stephen, and true martyrdom.

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St. Stephen’s Day falls on 26 December, the second day of Christmas. Not that we know Stephen died on this day; it’s just where western tradition happened to put it. In eastern churches it’s tomorrow, 27 December. (And if they’re still using the old Julian calendar, it’s 9 January to us.) In some countries it’s an official holiday. You may remember Στέφανος / Stéfanos “Stephen” from Acts 6-7 . Yep, he’s that St. Stephen. In the ancient Hebrew culture, tithes weren’t money, but food. Every year you took 10 percent of your firstfruits and celebrated with it; Dt 14.22-27 every third year you gave it to the needy. Dt 14.28-29 Apparently the first Christians took on the duty of distributing tithes to the needy. But they were accused of favoring Aramaic-speaking Christians over Greek-speaking ones. Ac 6.1 So the Twelve had the church elect seven Greek-speakers to take over the job. Ac 6.2-3 Stephen was first in this list, and Acts’ author Luke pointedly called him full of

St. Thomas, and healthy skepticism.

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Thomas wanted his doubts addressed. So Jesus addressed them. 21 December is the feast day of the apostle Thomas. His name Tomás is produced by taking the Aramaic word taóm /“twin” and adding the Greek noun-suffix -as to it. John pointed out he was also called Dídymos /“twice,” so likely he was an identical twin. There’s an old tradition he looked just like Jesus, and that’s why they called him a twin, but since Jesus was likely old enough to be his dad, I think they’d have nicknamed him “junior” instead of “twin.” No doubt Thomas had a twin brother, though we know nothing about him. What we do know is Thomas was one of the Twelve, namely the one who wouldn’t believe Jesus was alive till he saw him for himself. John 20.24-25 KWL 24 Thomas, one of the Twelve, called Twin, wasn’t with the others when Jesus came. 25 The other students told Thomas , “We saw the Master!” He told them, “Unless I see the nail-marks on his hands and put my finger on the nail-scars and put my

Mary the Magdalene, apostle to the apostles.

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The myths (and sexism) behind the first person to see our risen Lord. 22 July is the feast day of Mary the Magdalene, whom we also call Mary of Magdala. She’s the woman who shows up in all the resurrection stories, ’cause she’s the very first person Jesus appeared to after he was raised from the dead. John 20.10-18 KWL 10 Then the students went away again, to their people , 11 and Mary stood outside the tomb, mourning. As she mourned, she then bent down into the tomb, 12 and saw two angels in white, one sitting at the head, one at the feet, where Jesus’s body was placed. 13 They told her, “Ma’am, why do you mourn?” She told them this: “They took my Master away, and I don’t know where they put him.” 14 Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing—and didn’t know it was Jesus. 15 Jesus told her, “Ma’am, why do you mourn? Whom are you looking for?” Figuring he was the groundskeeper, she told him, “Master, if you took him away, tell me where you put him, and I