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"Therefore, good people, be sure,
    Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
          Shall yourselves find blessing."
                    - Good King Wenceslas
 
Various Biblical passages suggest that Jesus resembled his disciples; people confused him with John the Baptist and Judas had to identify him to the soldiers at Gethsemane.
Forensic experts have recreated the face of a man, living at the same time and place as Jesus, using forensic techniques.
Did Jesus resemble his disciples, or did his true disciples start to resemble him?

A little Christmas quiz

What day did the three wise men come to visit Jesus?
Christmas Day
Boxing Day
6th of January
What country does the song Silent Night originate from?
Austria
Germany
England
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me....what?
Two turtle doves
A partridge in a pear tree
Five golden rings
What was the first company that used Santa Claus in advertising?
Coca-Cola
IBM
Ford Motor Company
What is the best-selling Christmas song ever?
Jingle Bells Rock
White Christmas by Bing Crosby
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
Be safe. Keep others safe.
Be careful with electric light strands.
If you have a real tree, water it. (don't water the lights)
Every home should have a first aid kit and a smoke detector. (present idea!)

 

During the 2010 Zheng-Kai marathon Jacqueline Nyetipei Kiplimo from Kenya saw a Chinese elite athlete struggling to drink water. She ran with him from the 10km to the 38km mark aiding him through all the water stations. This slowed her time to 2nd place.
Abba's first hit was a song about a Salvation Army soldier. The year was 1971, and they hadn't yet taken the name Abba. Here is Frida, Benny, Agneta and Björn on stage singing together with a Salvation Army band.
Keep Smiling! Every time you find humour in a difficult situation, you win.
1 in 3 people will need blood or blood products in their lifetime.
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
 
The best gift is Love.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength.
Loving someone deeply gives you courage.

God so loved the world that he gave us his one and only Son.


December 13th is Saint Lucia's day, to commemorate Lucia of Syracause. She was an early 4th century martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution, who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candle lit-wreath on her head to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible. Saint Lucia's day is celebrated in Italy and Scandinavia on this day. Many years ago, when the Julian calendar still was in use, December 13th was the darkest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. So, the candles carried in the celebration not only symbolises the fire that refused to take St Lucia's life when she was sentenced to be burned, but also the return of the light after the midwinter solstice.

Merry Christmas in other languages

French: Joyeux Noël
German: Frohe Weinachten
Italian: Buon Natale
Portuguese: Feliz Natal
Dutch: Vrolijk kerstfeest
Romanian: Craciun fericit
Polish: Wesolych swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Somali Kirismas Wanaagsan
Spanish Feliz Navidad
Swahili Heri ya krismas
Swedish: God Jul
Czech: Veselé Vánoce
Everyone knows the story of the wise men at Christmas, but what about the wise women?

Luke 2:36-38 tells of Anna the prophetess.

Anna was an elderly widow who effectively lived in the temple, praying constantly. She would have seen hundreds of people come and go every day to give offerings, recite passages of scripture and to pray.

Yet despite her old age, on seeing the baby Jesus brought into the temple Anna immediately knew Him to be the Messiah. She praised God and spoke of Him to all in Jerusalem who were waiting expectantly for Christ to come.

Let's not forget the wisdom of Anna.

Anna in the Temple, by Jerry Bacik
Remember the lost and lonely at Christmas
 

What countries could you associate the following
Christmas food traditions/dishes with

Feast of the Seven Fishes
Italy
Spain
Agentina
Stockfish pickled in lye, rehydrated, boiled and eaten with boiled potatoes, white sauce and green peas
Russia
Scotland
Norway
Curry Goat
Jamaica
Mexico
Cyprus
Wigilia Supper, a meal of 12 different meatless dishes, in memory of the 12 apostles
Brazil
Poland
Italy
Hallacas - corn dough stuffed with a stew of meat and vegetables, wrapped in large leaves and boiled
Spain
Venezuela
Chile
I know it's deep but when you peep you'll find it's dense
Jesus both God and man, two hundred percents, yeah
Fully divine, fully human
Introducing: The Hypostatic Union

The Son of God: 100% divinity
Self-existent Second Person of the Trinity
Magisterial, Imperial at the helm
Infinitely transcending this material realm
He's so original, getting to know Him is pivotal
Behold the invincible prototypical Holy Principal

                - Shia Linne, The Hypostatic Union

When the guns fell silent on Christmas Eve 1914, one soldier started to sing carols. Others joined in. The soldiers in the opposing trenches heard and also joined in.
With great trepidation soldiers from both sides ventured out into no man's land to exchange greetings and small presents.
No-one died that night.
Lord, let there be a room available tonight - anything will do.
 
 
 
 

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