Merry Christmas, Friends!

Luther-11Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit, daß ein Gebot vom Kaiser Augustus ausging, daß alle Welt geschätzt würde. Und diese Schätzung war die allererste und geschah zu der Zeit, da Cyrenius Landpfleger in Syrien war. Und jedermann ging, daß er sich schätzen ließe, ein. jeglicher in seine Stadt. Da machte sich auch auf Joseph aus Galiläa, aus der Stadt Nazareth, in das jüdische Land zur Stadt Davids die da heißt Bethlehem, darum daß er von dem Hause und Geschlechte Davids war, auf daß er sich schätzen ließe mit Maria, seinem vertrauten Weibe, die war schwanger. Und als sie daselbst waren, kam die Zeit, daß sie gebären sollte. Und sie gebar ihren ersten Sohn und wickelte ihn in Windeln und legte ihn in eine Krippe; denn sie hatten sonst keinen Raum in der Herberge. (Luk 2:1-7)

In quei giorni uscì un editto di Cesare Augusto che ordinava il censimento di tutta la terra. Questo primo censimento fu fatto quando Quirino era governatore della Siria. Tutti andavano a dare il loro nome, ciascuno nella propria città. Anche Giuseppe dalla Galilea, dalla città di Nazaret, salì nella Giudea, alla città di Davide, che si chiamava Betlemme, perché egli era della casa e della famiglia di Davide, per dare il suo nome con Maria, sua sposa, che era incinta. Mentre si trovavano là, giunse per lei il tempo di partorire e diede alla luce il suo figlio primogenito. Lo avvolse in fasce e lo depose in una mangiatoia, perché per loro non c’era posto all’albergo.

tyndaleAnd it chaunced in thoose dayes: that ther went oute a commaundment from Auguste the Emperour that all the woorlde shuld be taxed. And this taxynge was the fyrst and executed when Syrenius was leftenaut in Syria. And every man went vnto his awne citie to be taxed. And Ioseph also ascended from Galile oute of a cite called Nazareth into Iurie: vnto the cite of David which is called Bethleem because he was of the housse and linage of David to be taxed with Mary his spoused wyfe which was with chylde. And it fortuned whyll they were there her tyme was come that she shuld be delyvered. And she brought forth her fyrst begotten sonne and wrapped him in swadlynge cloothes and layed him in a manger because ther was no roume for them within in the ynne.

lukeἘγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην. αὕτη ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς Συρίας Κυρηνίου. καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πόλιν. Ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρὲθ εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν εἰς πόλιν Δαυὶδ ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλέεμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυίδ, ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ. Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν, καὶ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον, καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι.

However you happen to say it- thank God in heaven for the gift of Christ here below. Merry Christmas, friends.

It’s Time To Start Calling the Gun Lobby’s Bluff

Gun lobbyists constantly tell us that when some nut with a gun kills a load of folk, that ‘if there had been someone with a gun there, they could have stopped it’. So, let’s call them on it. Every time there’s a mass murder by a gun nutbag, let’s ask where all the gun lovers are and why they never seem to be where they’re needed. And if they are, why they never seem to act.

Why is it that they never are where they need to be doing what they claim they’ll do. Why? Surely they can’t all be on vacation. Why didn’t they show up at Sandy Hook? Why weren’t they there today to defend the firefighters who were ambushed by one of their own- a similarly minded gun lover?

From now on any time someone is gunned down I’m going to ask- where are the braggarts who love guns and believe that if there were more guns on the street, such acts could be stopped.

Where are you, gun lover lobbyists? Why are you hiding?



Suppose it were your birthday
And all your friends would come
And gather ’round your fireplace
There in your happy home.

They come with smiles and gladness,
And bring their presents, too.
But when they start to share them,
There’s not a one for you.

They give them to each other,
A grand and costly lot.
But for the guest of honor,
They somehow just forgot.

You say such things don’t happen,
Nor should it ever be;
It seems too crude and cruel,
For folks like you and me.

But friend, have you considered
Just this is what men do?
Not, of course, to humans,
But of our Lord, its true.

We celebrate His birthday
With all our pomp and style;
But give to one another
And grieve Him all the while.

’Tis Christ we claim to honor
At this glad Christmastime;
Don’t spend on friends the dollars
And give Him just a dime.

To give to one another
Indeed is very nice;
But best of all to Jesus,
For Him let’s sacrifice.

His cause too long has suffered
By thoughtless, selfish men.
Let’s bring to Christ the firstfruits,
And give our best to Him.

—Fred D. Jarvis

Bloggers in Their Christmas Finery

Ghastly though it be….

And no, I don’t know why they’re dressed like women.  And I don’t want to know.

Salty Wives, Spirited Mothers, and Savvy Widows: Capable Women of Purpose and Persistence in Luke’s Gospel

spencerThe nice folk at Eerdmans have sent for review:

Engaging feminist hermeneutics and philosophy in addition to more traditional methods of biblical study, Salty Wives, Spirited Mothers, and Savvy Widows demonstrates and celebrates the remarkable capability and ingenuity of several women in the Gospel of Luke. While recent studies have exposed women’s limited opportunities for ministry in Luke, Scott Spencer pulls the pendulum back from a negative feminist-critical pole toward a more constructive center.

Granting that Luke sends somewhat “mixed messages” about women’s work and status as Jesus’ disciples, Spencer analyzes such women as Mary, Elizabeth, Joanna, Martha and Mary, and the infamous yet intriguing wife of Lot — whom Jesus exhorts his followers to “remember” — as well as the unrelentingly persistent women characters in Jesus’ parables.

Sounds fascinating and I may well take it on the plane to Cambridge and write the review when I return.  When I have it done I’ll post it here.

Jews Beware: Christmas Trees May Get You In Trouble

Ha’aretz reports

The Chief Rabbinate will meet on Monday to formulate official directives concerning the kashrut status of businesses marking Christmas. The meeting comes after municipal chief rabbis were instructed to rescind kashrut certificates from businesses with Christmas trees.  “According to Jewish law, Jews may not be in a place where idol worship is taking place,” a spokesman explained on Sunday.

However, the Chief Rabbinate Council is to meet Monday to formulate official directives for kashrut supervisors in such circumstances. The rabbinate spokesman said kashrut supervisors would be instructed to deal only with food.  “The Chief Rabbinate is working according to the law,” its spokesman said, but added that when a halakhic prohibition prevents a kashrut supervisor from being present, the business could not be granted a certificate.

And a Merry Christmas to you…