Tag Archives: Bible

Love thy neighbour

loveThe most disturbing event that has seemingly happened in the wake of last week’s referendum result is not the state of the stock market (which after an initial panic has now recovered and more), nor is it the pound’s exchange rate (which might be low, but it’s been worse), no it seems that the ugly face of racism and intolerance has resurfaced.

It’s not just the obvious type of racism either. There has been vitriol thrown by friends to other friends simply because of where they were born, or who they worship. There has been vile abuse thrown in the direction of people, simply because they voted a different way to their friends.  There has also been a whole torrent of abuse hurled at the older generation of this country for doing nothing more than exercising the same democratic right as everyone else!

And frankly, that makes me ashamed to be human!

As human beings we are all individuals. Everyone is a unique person with their own way of life, goals, dreams and ambitions.

No one, whatever (or however) they feel, has the right to pass judgment on another human being because of the colour of their skin, their nationality or because they have differing opinions to you. Those are precisely the qualities that make us unique individuals.

I was in church on the Sunday before the referendum (just after the murder of Jo Cox and the shootings in Orlando) and the sermon was related to one of the readings that day from Galatians:

But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Jesus Christ.”

The preacher went on to quote Zoughbi Zoughbi, the founder and director of the Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre, who said simply that:

“God is not racist”

[Note, God can also refer to any other holy, religious ethereal being]

So if God can see past colour, creed, nationality, etc., why can’t we?

In the Bible there are at least 30 quotes about loving thy neighbour. It is also, I believe, a theme that runs through Islam, as well as many other religions.

The world is crazy enough at the moment without adding fuel to the fire, so why can’t everyone love their neighbours. After all, as it says in Leviticus “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

So, as Martin Luther King put it – stick with love.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

SC has a book about Christmas, full of stories, traditions and carols, and amongst them is the true meaning of the carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”.12 days

It is thought this carol was written for the early Roman Catholics in England at a time when they were forbidden from openly practising their religion (between 1558 and 1829, as it happens, although there is no real evidence for this of course!). The carol was created so that children could secretly learn about the Christian faith whilst just seemingly being taught a song.

The words in the carol are like a secret code, with each object relating to some belief of the Christian faith.

So, here goes:

  • “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” – where ‘true love’ signifies God, the true love of the world and ‘me’ being the Christian (man or woman) who receives Gods presents;
  • Partridge in a pear tree – Jesus;
  • Two Turtle Doves – the 2 books of the bible – Old and New Testaments;
  • Three French Hens – the Holy Trinity – the 3-in-1 – God, the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit;
  • Four Calling Birds – are the 4 Gospels in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John);
  • Five Gold Rings – are the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch or the Book of Moses or the Torah;
  • Six Geese-a-Laying – represent the 6 days it took God to create the world (if you believe that of course!);
  • Seven Swans-a-Swimming – are the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit which are – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord;
  • Eight Maids-a-Milking – are the 8 Beatitudes Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount – Blessed are the poor, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness – and not a cheesemaker amongst them (for all you Monty Python fans!)
  • Nine Ladies Dancing – are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, where the fruit symbolises the 9 visible attributes of a true Christian life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control;
  • Ten Lords-a-Leaping – the 10 Commandments;
  • Eleven Pipers Piping – are the 11 faithful apostles of Jesus;
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming – are the 12 points of the Apostles’ Creed, this is what is generally said in church as the Nicene Creed.

From a mathematical standpoint, if you add all the presents given up you get a total of 364! 1 less than a whole year!

Which means that if the religious meaning is true and true love represents God – then He loves you every day!

May you all have a truly wonderful Christmas full of peace, love and happiness.

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