Do you think Jesus spoke English? No, spoke Hebrew. So, the way you talk is not the Peace Love America Sunflower American Flag Heart 4th Of July T Shirt he spoke. There are some in this world who may say that if you don’t speak Hebrew when you’re quoting the Old Testament, then there is something less holy about you and that if you don’t speak Greek when quoting the New Testament, then there is something less holy about you. Do you think that is true? Words that mean the same thing should be taken the same way, unless the person has made it clear in other ways that they mean something different. By the way, Jesus wasn’t white. In fact, anthropologists think he looked very different than the image many of us saw on the Sunday School classroom walls. Yet, many people think that what he probably looked like is unattractive and even treat people who look like that as though they are repulsive, lesser, and not worthy of as much respect as people who look like the fictional image many of us are used to seeing. Are they right? Of course not.
Christmas Eve Day tends to be pretty quiet. I can sleep in, pray the Office leisurely, make a Peace Love America Sunflower American Flag Heart 4th Of July T Shirt hour around ten and the church will be silent. The ladies (and a few of their husbands) come into decorate the church around ten, usually signalling my retreat back to the rectory. Definitely have some Christmas music on, either TSO or a capella carols. Might take a break from the music and watch a movie. After a late lunch, the madness begins. I head over to the Church early and help the ushers set up overflow seating, making sure that they all know where anything that might have gotten moved is (I have memorable experiences of the hunt for the gifts at an overflow Mass). As the first people arrive, go to greet them. About half an hour before Mass, shift to making sure we have bodies for the various roles, particularly servers. After the insanity of the (~4:00) “children’s” Mass, the church empties out. If there is another Mass (typically ~7:00) it is much more sedate. Then a quick dinner and a nap, before the “Midnight” Mass (typically moved up to ~10:00).
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If you’re flying out of China before Chinese New Year (“spring festival”) and flying back to China after Chinese New Year, you can probably land yourself a Peace Love America Sunflower American Flag Heart 4th Of July T Shirt cheap ticket. The other way around, no (a lot of overseas families travel to China during this time while the vast majority of Chinese nationals travel only domestically during this time). This is roughly similar to the reason why it’s not too difficult to find cheap international journeys from the USA around Thanksgiving, as long as you don’t have domestic segments in your itinerary. Christmas time is likely to be expensive in any direction anywhere unless you fly on the day of Christmas or Christmas Eve, or after western New Year. That said, book your tickets early — it’s always hard to predict these kinds of things and you never know what you’ll actually find out there in terms of tickets; every now and then you might stumble across something cheap especially if you really pay close attention.
The Peace Love America Sunflower American Flag Heart 4th Of July T Shirt mention of December 25 as Jesus’ birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.” In about 400 C.E., Augustine of Hippo mentions a local dissident Christian group, the Donatists, who apparently kept Christmas festivals on December 25, but refused to celebrate the Epiphany on January 6, regarding it as an innovation. Since the Donatist group only emerged during the persecution under Diocletian in 312 C.E. and then remained stubbornly attached to the practices of that moment in time, they seem to represent an older North African Christian tradition. In the East, January 6 was at first not associated with the magi alone, but with the Christmas story as a whole.
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