The 12 Days of Christmas: A Coded Catholic Catechesis?

This week I ran into an article over at snopes. That talks about how some people are saying the 12 days of Christmas song is actually a series of codes used to teach Catholic children about the faith during the times in which being a Catholic was outlawed in England. The true love in the song is God, and the gifts he gives can be decoded as follows:A Partridge in a Pear Tree = JesusTwo Turtle Doves = Old and New TestamentsThree French Hens = The Three Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope, and … [Read more...]

The light has come! – Rejoice

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He … [Read more...]

Christian Disciplines – 195 AD

Spiritual disciplines are the things that a person does to stay connected with God in their lives. Spiritual discipline would include prayer, attending church, bible study, and any number of different ways someone might live out the faith they profess. They are an essential part of any Christian life. As Thomas Merton once said "The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived." However many of the disciplines the church has had are … [Read more...]

Better know an Icon – Iconography -

Iconography is a Christian practice that is unfamiliar to many protestants, and often misunderstood. It involves the creation and use of religious images that depict Jesus, the saints, scenes from the Bible, and always points to something else of greater significance through literal or figurative meanings. Iconography comes from the Greek word εικoνογραφία which means "image writing." An Icon(or "ikon" or "eikon"), although an image, is not painted but is written. They are not simply artistic ex … [Read more...]

Christmas Vs Hanukkah

John Oliver and Jon Stewart gave me a moment of zen the other day... I thought you might enjoy it!Happy Hanukkah! … [Read more...]

Luke 9:51-62 Part VII – Recap

A New Kind of Narrative: Letting Jesus redefine stories across timeThe call to follow Jesus is given to every Christian in this life's journey. He does not call us onto an easy road but his call has an authority to overcome. We serve the same Jesus who rebuked the systems of oppression, and overcame them. He now calls us in his life giving mission of peace. These verses give us a picture of the depth of that calling. He is not a fix to the systems of this world, but a life completely outside of … [Read more...]

Luke 9:51-62 Part VI – Prophet, Pilgrim or Paschal Lamb? A verse by verse analysis of Jesus’ call to discipleship

This week we have been looking closely at Luke 9:51-62. So far we have examined Jesus' Rejection in Samaria in great detail and now we are examining the three "would-be" disciples. All the pieces to this pericope are pointing to something really amazing. Let's start putting them all together and see what kind of picture begins to emerge. Verse 57 This encounter happens along the journey. Jesus is in the process of fulfilling his mission. Although Jerusalem is not mentioned the larger context … [Read more...]

Luke 9:51-62 Part V – Elijah and The Plow: Jesus’ call for new identity

We continue our Series on Luke 9:51-62 today with a word study... Before we get into a verse by verse examination of the text of the three would be disciples in Luke 9 there is a word used in this passage that is fairly uncommon in the New Testament we should look at. The word ἄροτρον appears only one time in the New Testament, and that is in verse 62. It occurs in the Septuagint in 1 Chronicles 21:23, Sirach 38:25, Micah 4:3, Joel 4:10, and Isaiah 2:4. It has been translated "plow" in Luke. Lu … [Read more...]

Luke 9:51-62 Part IV – Wanna-be Wayfarers: a look over the three would-be disciples of Jesus

After Jesus' rejection in Samaria we find him once again on the road in Luke 9: 57. This passage is an important piece of the story of Jesus and the way of life he calls his disciples to. The text is not explicit about where Jesus is heading specifically, but we do know he continues to head generally toward Jerusalem. In this passage he interacts directly with three would be followers of him. These interactions do have a parallel in Matthew 8: 18-22, but the context is somewhat different in … [Read more...]