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Tuesday
Dec132016

I stand at the door

What looks like futility may be a moment of beauty

Photo: Sue Careless

By Larry Matthews

“Anyone numbers 25-30 – any number 30 and under!”

I’m standing in the door of our church, inviting in our homeless guests huddled outside in the cold and dark, five at a time. People arrive hours before we open so we distribute line-up numbers to keep things reasonably fair.

“Numbers 30-35 –35 and under!”

Men and women crowd past me into our warm foyer. Many carry all they own

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Tuesday
Dec132016

The Lamb

Adoration of the Shepherds (1622) by Gerard (Gerrit) van Honthorst.

Public Domain

By Catherine Sider Hamilton

AT OUR CHURCH at Christmas we have a crèche. It starts out as a big empty barn. Gradually over the weeks of Advent it begins to fill up with hay, a manger, a cow – all hand knit by parish members and neighbourhood friends – as each Sunday a child carries another animal in procession to

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Tuesday
Dec132016

Taking a Closer Look at some of the images in the Christmas narrative

Adoration of the Shepherds (1622) by Gerard (Gerrit) van Honthorst.

Credit: Art and the Bible

The Manger

By Susan Norman

RECENTLY I have had to re-think my image of “that poor, lowly stable,” which features as the birthplace of Jesus in my favourite Christmas carol. Apparently, the structure itself is unlikely to have been the barn-like building adorning many a Christmas card or nativity set. No stable is actually mentioned in the gospels, just the manger. This trough for feeding animals

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Tuesday
Dec132016

Ox and ass before Him bow

Adoration of the Magi Altarpiece, left hand predella panel depicting the Nativity by Gentile da Fabriano (1423)

Public Domain

THERE IS no ass or ox in the Biblical narratives of the birth of Christ. Yet, besides the Christ Child himself, the ass and the ox are the most ancient elements in the iconography of the nativity. In fact the earliest example of a nativity known to us contains only the swaddled Christ in the manger flanked by the ox at his head and the ass at his feet.

Traditionally, the ox is seen as Israel, and the ass is seen as the Gentiles.  This comes from

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Saturday
Nov122016

Learning from Micah and Mary

 

Both Advent Ember Days readings – which involve the prophet Micah and Mary, the mother of Jesus – have a common theme: that all things will become the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and that the Lord’s peace will reign. Above: icons depicting Micah and Mary.

By John Deepak Sundara

ALTHOUGH ALL but now forgotten, Ember Days are days dedicated to fasting and prayer in the liturgical year. And both our Advent Ember Days readings, Micah 1:1-4 and Luke 1:26-33 (BCP, p. 100), have a common theme: that all things will become the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and that the Lord’s peace will reign. Indeed, the coming reign of the Lord is the theme of Advent itself. 

We are counted as those who are to labour for peace and righteousness. Labouring for peace and righteousness is not the call solely of diplomats

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