Today is the first day of the 12 Days of Christmas. Even though in the eyes of the world Christmas is over, we understand that Christmas is a season, not day. So we continue to celebrate. We continue to rejoice. We continue to celebrate the miracle of God coming to us in the form of a Babe in a manger. We continue to wonder at the awesome truth of the Incarnation–that God took on human flesh and became Man. Continue reading
Just recently controversy was raging in Congress regarding Planned Parenthood and whether this organization should continue to receive funds from the government. Obviously abortion continues to be a hot political issue. Sometimes it seems to be overly politicized. Partisans on both sides of the issue say and do things that make you scratch your head in wonder. However, in the midst of this ongoing debate we must not lose sight that beyond being a political and partisan issue it is even more fundamentally a moral issue. And the morality of it all boils down to one basic question: Is the unborn fetus a human being? If not, then what’s the beef with Planned Parenthood, with abortion itself? But if the unborn organism in a mother’s uterus is indeed a human being—then without a doubt it is a moral issue of the highest priority. Continue reading
I have been reading a book lately about the history of Christian doctrine. In this work, the author comments on the differences between the Gospel of John and the other three Gospel writers. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are often called the Synoptic Gospels. The world “synoptic” basically means “seeing together.” You may have noticed that these three Gospels present a great deal of similar material in a roughly parallel format. So these Gospel writers often share the same material but with their individual perspectives and approaches. The Gospel of John, however, is dramatically different from the Synoptics.
One of the chief differences is that John’s Gospel is very explicit in presenting Christ as divine. The deity of our Lord is most clear in John. The author of the book I am reading emphasizes this. Yet, he goes beyond this, and states that it is only in John that we see Christ’s deity. According to him, the Synoptics present Jesus as merely a man, Messiah perhaps, but certainly not divine. Continue reading
My wife’s youngest sister Martha (hello Maha!) likes to celebrate a rather unusual holiday. For several years now she and her family have made a concerted effort to observe with appropriate ceremony and festivity the holiday of Groundhog Day. Their celebration consists of eating lots of sausage (ground hog… get it?), singing Groundhog Day songs, and watching the Bill Murray movie about the day. Way to go, Martha!
Such an interesting idea—celebrating a holiday that others mostly ignore. There are many days like this on our calendar. Indeed, you can do a search on the internet and find that there is something being celebrated every day of the year. This runs the gamut from National Lazy Day (August 10) to Start Your Own Country Day (November 22). You can celebrate almost anything almost any day. Yet, in this abundance of serious and silly holidays, sometimes there are lesser known days of importance that are overlooked… and overlooked to our loss, I would like to say. One such holiday is coming up in just two days. And that holiday is the focus of this Trogo.
March 25 is a day that is usually just another day on the calendar for most people. Unless it happens to be your birthday—or you are really into celebrating National Pecan Day or Waffle Day—you will probably go through the entire day without giving a thought to its significance. Yet it is indeed significant. Why? I am glad you asked.
When I was a kid I was fascinated by space and stars and the planets. I was a Star Trek geek before there were Trekkies. No matter how much fun I was having playing outside in the summer time, I would always come in to see what was happening that week with Kirk and Spock and Bones. Yes, I must confess, I was also an avid fan of Lost in Space. (“Danger! Danger! Be careful, Will Robinson!”) I read Tom Swift, and loved movies like Forbidden Planet, Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers and The Day The Earth Stood Still. I was a space nut.
Indeed, my ambition as a youngster was to become an astronomer. (God had other plans.) And so with this fascination with astronomy, it is not surprising that many of my youthful science projects involved models of the solar system. I made more than my fair share of planets out of Play-Doh and Stryofoam balls. I was the king of coat hangers and clay spheres. Yet, with all my juvenile enthusiasm I still missed something. I failed to comprehend the vastness of space. In fact, as is probably common with most young astronomers, I thought my wire and Stryofoam creations were pretty realistic. Continue reading