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Decoration Day: This Monday.

May 26th, 2012 by stephanie

Did you know that this coming Monday used to be called Decoration Day? Few people are even aware of that nowadays, but that’s only because few of us have ever been told. You see, Memorial Day used to be a special time set aside for Americans to visit the cemeteries. While there, they would decorate the graves of those who had given their lives in service to this country.

My grandmother and my mother shared that information with me early on. But there’s a reason for that. Memorial Day used to be celebrated only on May 30, and as that is my date of birth, each year my grandmother or mother would remind me of the holiday and it’s meaning. Which of course I loved. They would always say, “You were born on Traditional Memorial Day.” But, as the government is known to do, the powers that be moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May so that federal folks could have a 3-day holiday. And now, all of us enjoy the decision they made. Within time however, the true meaning was lost

So, I went to Wikipedia to see what they had to say. And here is what I found…

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action

I’ll share more about the traditional observance of the day later this week. See you then

Stephanie

Happy Ascension Day!

May 17th, 2012 by stephanie

I was doing some research online and came across www.timeanddate.com. It was interesting to not only find this website, but the following entry in the Holidays section:
Ascension Day is observed in the United States on the 40th day of Easter. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven, according to the New Testament of the Bible.

I found that surprising, being as, if this is celebrated in North America, I’d have to say, I know few folks these days that have any awareness of it as a Holiday. It was this next section that gave me some new insight.
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What do people do?
Some churches in the United States join forces to celebrate a combined Day of Prayer and Ascension Day service, which may include a time for reflection. A few churches also organize a “church crawl”, where people travel from one church to another and experience the different prayer events.

Other churches may feature combined cathedral choirs that offer a special solemn Eucharist written especially for Ascension Day. A social time usually follows the service. Some Lutheran churches hold a special ceremony where the Paschal candle is extinguished and removed after the reading of the gospel on Ascension Day.
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Now, I have heard of a Pub Crawl, and you probably have too, but a church crawl was new to me. All that said, here’s where this whole thing started. Enjoy!
Acts 1:9-11 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

40 Days after the Resurrection.

May 15th, 2012 by stephanie

As many of you who have been following along know, we have been talking about how Jesus was on the earth an additional 40 days after He rose from the grave. Eight days after that incredible Sunday, he appeared again to the disciples, still in the upper room, in Jerusalem.

He then met them in Galilee. Taught them. Spent time with them. And not all of it is recorded. We do hear about him greeting them on the seashore and making them breakfast on the beach, however. This is the time when Peter jumped out of the boat and walked on the water as well. Then, there was that famous interaction where Jesus asked Peter three times, “Peter, do you love me?” After the disciple would answer, Jesus would respond, “Feed my sheep.” All of these famous stories happened during this time frame in the Sea of Galilee area.

We also see in another obscure passage of Scripture that quite a few folks got a glimpse of Jesus during these few weeks as well. And some special folks actually got some one on one time. 1 Cor. 15:5-7 says, “…and that he appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.” We learn from different verses that Jesus was a busy man in those mere 40 days.

Before Jesus disappeared in the clouds, He and his disciples left Galilee and made their way back to Jerusalem at some point. We’ll talk about that in the next couple of days.

Stay tuned…
S.

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