Sunday, November 25, 2012

ADVENT; Step Into Christmas

Advent means “coming.” It is a season when we prepare for Jesus’ arrival. There are five candles in an advent wreath. 3 purple or blue, and one pink, and one white. Purple symbolizes both His royalty and our repentance.

As with every year, my hope is to post some Advent meditations on ye ole Pirate blog here- but as usual, my December is looking mighty busy so I'm not making any promises, just plans.
I'm thinking they may need to be shorter than is my habit (long winded/long worded) and my hope is to  post them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (as opposed to Sun-Sat.). Wish me luck.

Here is a brief refresher on the color and symbolism of the traditional Advent wreath.

  • An Advent wreath is a circle, which has no beginning and no end. Pine is used because it is "evergreen," also representing eternal life. However, the wreath is also foreshadowing of Christ's passion. Pine needles and/or holly leaves represent the crown of thorns and holly berries and/or poinsettia flowers represent the blood He shed on the cross.
  • The first violet candle is the “Prophets candle” and symbolizes the hope that Old Testament Jews had that a Messiah would one day come.
  • The second violet candle is the “Bethlehem” candle and represents the peace that the new God/Man savior would bring, ending the long spiritual rift between God and mankind.
  • The pink candle is the “Angels’” candle (or in some traditions, the “Mary” candle) it symbolizes the joy of Heaven that a Savior was finally to be born.
  • The last violet candle is the “Shepherds’” candle and represents the love or adoration of those ready to accept the gift of the Christ child.
  • The large white candle  in the center, often lit on Christmas or Christmas Eve is the “Christ Candle” and represents Jesus as the “Light of the world,” or the Epiphany, God on Earth.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Don't dishonor the poor

Whatever happened to the "party of personal responsibility?"

They blame minorities for electing Obama. Blame minorities for getting jobs and college spots under affirmative action programs? Blame immigrants for the economy? Resent people on disability, food stamps, or unemployment for wasting your taxes?
"Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?"

Aren't they the ones who cut your pay? Cut your benefits? Ship jobs overseas? Cut taxes on themselves so that they rise on the poor & middle-class?

Monday, November 12, 2012

True "Sodomy?"

This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.

~ Ezekiel 16:49-50

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Why is it?

Seems to me that the Bible is about love & forgiveness, and the Constitution is about equality and due process. Am I really wrong about this?

Seriously? Does it not occur to Tea Partiers that really they're proponents of nullification & states-rights and that they'd probably prefer to eliminate the Constitution with it's supremacy clause, its elastic clause, and that pesky 14th Amendment with its darned equal-protection clause.

And have you noticed that Fundamentalists are always telling us that we can't pick-and-choose what we want to believe from the Bible when it comes to evolution, abortion and homosexuality- but have they NOTICED how many times God commands us to care for the poor, the sick, the widows, orphans, hungry, and alien? How we're not to deny them justice? How its harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven that for a camel to get through the eye of a needle? Or how we should stock up treasures in Heaven, rather than in land and barns and possessions? Or how we should render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's (pay taxes)?

The best things any of us can do as U.S. citizens has got to be to actually READ, rather than just claim to be exceptional because of the Bible and the Constitution. If we know what they REALLY say- we wouldn't put up with all the ways people misrepresent, misuse and abuse them both.

Make it a New Year's resolution this year- regardless of how the election goes this Tuesday, promise yourself that you'll really read and try to learn for yourself what both of these foundations of civilization really say. May we all be more literate about them and more grateful for them. And by reading them, may we all become better citizens and may we all grow in our relationships with God.