Constellation

Constellation: (n) a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern

Christmas: when the nays and yeas get together to discuss a baby born in the hay.

To me, It is the only wearisome part of the season. One group tries to convince the other group that the Christmas story from the gospels of Matthew and Luke is not only possible, but also historical.

The other contingency works really hard to dismiss the whole, ridiculous notion of a virgin birth, a Star of David and “angels we have heard on high.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I take a different approach.

I like to consider what the world needs and what the Earth craves, and then find things in the perimeter which feed that urgency.

The world desperately needs all of us to become human instead of men, women, gay, straight, family, country and culture.

So I flip to Christmas: “We bring you tidings of great joy. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.”

The Earth also desires respect. Yes, we are a bratty species which thinks the environment is our personal roll of toilet paper.

And then we have the story of the Star of Bethlehem. Somewhere out there in the constellations there emerged a star. The popular belief is that this would have to be a huge star–not necessarily true since the people who followed it were star-gazers, and would not need to be “star-struck” in order to be intrigued with a particular heavenly body.

The elements of the Christmas story are concepts that we, as humans, would have to pursue even if there was no God. For example:

  1. Be prepared to do what is unusual, or expect the usual results.
  2. Don’t expect everything to come the way you predicted it. Maybe a woman will be the hero of the tale.
  3. Look to the stars. Look for some light. Look for some hope. Follow it.
  4. Listen for the better angels, who tell us to try to get along.

My only regret at Christmas time, as an author, is that Matthew and Luke beat me to the publisher.

Because I’ll tell ya’–I would write that story any day of the week, knowing that it was not only needful, but destined to be a hit.

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Acts (Book of)

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

 

Acts:  a New Testament book immediately following the Gospels and relating the history of the early Church.

During the several times in my life when I have read the Bible from cover to cover—and let me candidly admit that even though there IS a blessing in the perusing, I would also have to deem it a chore—I discovered that the Bible has so much arcane language which does not fall into my purview and ideas which can be interpreted so many different ways, that it certainly demands a gentle spirit for consumption.

This is definitely true of the Book of Acts. While some people critique the Gospels which have the accounts of the life of Jesus, in being abbreviated in detail, focused on a particular audience of the day, the Book of Acts is really like a corporate press release.

First of all, you have to consider that the time span covered in the entire work is between sixty and seventy years. Once it’s condensed and crushed together into its twenty-eight chapters, you feel like it’s a description of a couple of weekends’ vacationing in Jerusalem. The huge transitions in plot, miraculous achievements and even the struggles seem monumental rather than the typical day-to-day inch-worm progress which is actually accomplished by human beings.

But there IS one thing we certainly learn from the Book of Acts: when Christians and Jews tried to combine their theologies, it fails miserably.

I’m not saying that Christians and Jews can’t get along as folks and friends, but the faith that was established by Jesus of Nazareth was not exactly complementary to the Law of Moses.

When these early Jewish boys who were followers of Jesus tried to incorporate their Mom and Dad’s religion into the new movement, it just didn’t work out very well.

So because of that, a Pharisee named Saul took the journey to become Paul the Apostle, and translated the message to a whole world of non-circumcised individuals. So faith in God went from being an issue of whether your penis was trimmed or not to whether your heart was open.

It was an arduous task, which as I previously stated, took many decades. With the Book of Acts, we basically get the Reader’s Digest version, written by a physician named Luke.

Even though I appreciate te account and the inclusion of the struggle, I do think we miss the magnitude of human folly in the pursuit of better understanding.

Christianity wouldn’t have moved out of the Upper Room in Jerusalem had it not been for a guy named Paul.

And mankind would never have departed from the superstitions of Mesopotamia had it not been for the teachings … of Jesus.