Archive for April 2007

History of May Day

MAY DAY May Day is many things to many people. Etymologically, it is a homophone for the international call for help. It is a corruption of the French imperative “M’aidez” meaning “Help me!” As a holiday it is claimed by many. It is known in the pagan world as Beltane, a fertility celebration, one of…

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History of Earth Day

EARTH DAY April 22 is called Earth Day because it both commemorates and celebrates the anniversary of our discovery of Earth. At this time, by all accounts, there is general agreement that it is far superior to the place from which we came, as we shall see below. Recently, however, there has been increased concern…

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History of Amazing Grace, part 2

AMAZING GRACE, part 2 As we mentioned in our first article on the History of Amazing Grace this is the story of the lives of two men and that one song. In the first part we discussed the life of the song’s author John Newton. The recent film “Amazing Grace” however is about the life…

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History of the Players

.!. SO WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO OLD… You may be asking yourself, “Self,” you ask, “where are they now?” and well you might ask. What happened to our players AFTER the events in the Easter story? HEROD ANTIPAS You may remember that I had said Antipas’ taking to wife his brother’s wife Herodias led to…

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History of Good Friday

GOOD FRIDAY For centuries, pilgrims have walked the Via Dolorosa, “the way of sorrow” in Jerusalem, following the path Jesus took from the judgment seat of Pilate at the Antonia in the eastern part of the city immediately north of the Temple through several “stations of the Cross” to the ultimate location at the Church…

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History of the Trial

THE TRIAL OF JESUS The trial of Jesus leading up to his crucifixion was actually a series of perhaps half a dozen trials, across several locations in Jerusalem, some of which are captured in the tradition of the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrow, a series of locations that pilgrims take through the streets of…

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History of Maundy Thursday

MAUNDY THURSDAY Amid the bustle of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter, Maundy Thursday is easy to overlook. Few calendars label it, and some churches don’t observe it at all, though it may be the oldest of the Holy Week observances. It’s worth asking why, and how, generations of Christians have revered this day. The…

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History of Passover

PASSOVER This evening at sunset marks the beginning of Passover. Exodus 12 in the Bible tells the story of Passover from the life of Moses. Ten plagues were visited upon the Egyptian pharaoh (starring Yul Brenner, but he was much better in “The King and I”) to get his attention to release the “children of…

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History of the Sanhedrin

.!. SANHEDRIN The Greek word sunedrion, translated “council” is referred to in the New Testament as “the Great Law-Court”, “the Court of Seventy-One”, and “the rulers and elders and scribes”. It was the supreme theocratic court of the Jews and reflected the local autonomy which the Greek and Roman powers granted the Jewish nation. Its…

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