This nail, this very first nail.
The noise of this first nail, made by the hammer. This very instant where suffering became our fault. This flesh opening under the metal and the furor of the crowd and a system still echoes every time your suffering takes possession of your sight.
And the second nail before the third, as unjust than the first one, confirmed the blindness of those who judge. The third one, the one that went through the feet, with more and more hits of the hammer. And the tears : His tears and His eyes going thoroughly the sky with His questions and our certainty and the silence of the clouds coming.
The searing pain of the one in hospital, the threading pain of this sorrow darkening the days, bring us close to Him, and we understand that at this moment we are alone as He was, for ever, prisoner of an eternal night.
For Him and because of us, we must forgive our human condition whose purpose escapes from our understanding. We need more compassion * for those who suffer, in memory of Him.
*From Webster: *Origin: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French, from Late Latin compassion-, compassio, from compati to sympathize, from Latin com- + pati to bear, suffer — more at patient.
First use: 14th century
Coffee hour is a time for chatting, exchanging about all and nothing.
We often have sweet stuffs with sweet drinks.
Just a remark: the sugar shot is going to give your kids a surplus of excitation and for the diabetics a shoot they don’t really need.
So what to serve with coffee and tea?
Some suggestions that respect allergies and diets as gluten free:
What is terrible when you are hungry is that you are not able to think of anything other than food and your next meal. And when you are a hungry kid, it is more terrible because you don’t understand why your tummy hurts so badly, and why everything hurts:
Morris County is one of the richest counties in the United States and New Jersey is one of the richest states in the union, despite the Great Recession - and yet, we still have families, couples and children going hungry. Hunger is not just for those “overseas,” it’s in your backyard.
Did you know that 900 000 New Jersey residents rely on Food Banks and Pantries for assistance. We are proud to note that the Church of the Saviour is an active participant in the Faith Kitchen ministry that helps to feed our neighbors in need.
There are 40,753 households or nearly one quarter of Morris County residents who are struggling, with 8,837 (5 percent) living below the U.S. poverty line and 31,916 (18 percent) falling into the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) population.
I have been hungry. A long time ago, but I do remember, always. Giving to the Faith Kitchen and the food pantry is just a way to remember that any of us can fall into hunger tomorrow because of job loss, medical expenses, or a divorce, with children to feed first.
When you give to the hungry, you respect your oath as a Christian and you receive more than you give.
May God bless you,
My sincere gratitude to Caroline Bucquet for editing this blog.
We know that Your Light will come to us... and we feel the darkness and the pain that You will face before we understand that You die because of us.
Forgive us for what we have done and give us the strength to receive your Love and live in Your Light.
Jean Bucquet (photo Jean Bucquet)
Sometimes people, friends, or not, ask me why I go to church. They seem to be surprised that I spent so much time to sing, take care of the web —or other tasks.
For them, in the sort of tornado that their life could be, with the kids and following them to sporting events, to college or high school, shopping, the responsibilities of their jobs, the banks, the “this and that” … they don’t always see the importance to go to church or they tell me they don’t have time.
All what is perceived by some of us as a perpetual, but necessary “noise” where we lose ourselves in daily activities and responsibilities, does not leave a lot of room for spirituality.
But at the occasion of a drama, a loss, a natural catastrophe, we stop and have a second look at what is really important and how small we are, and how lucky we are in any case, and how we should be grateful for every day that God gives us.
Our kids and us, we are swallowed by this vortex of videos, screens and other disturbances that make the usual environment of a normal American family today.
Murders, sex, violence, wars, kidnapping, riots, vulgarity are all over the place, at any time. And we hear so many mixed messages all day, every day. And we are somehow supposed to, really have to, transmit some values to our kids because it is our job. We do our best, yes our best.
Even if our kids are grown-up and living their lives far away, even if we live alone, even if we are not alone but deeply lonely, we still face this disturbing environment.
Even if we are really happy just because the light of the day is so beautiful, or because there is a bird singing on the branch of a blooming tree, or because pain is fading away. Just happy.
Even for all of that and certainly other reasons, yours.
About me, I need to be in a place where other human beings share with me the need to open our heart to the Love of Christ, the need to just stop for a little while and pray, and be in the light of a candle, and feel the emotions of the music provoked by the choir and the organ.
I need the church to be with other human beings (my relationship with God is personal). Of course, I enjoy the readings and the permanent discovery of the Jesus’s teachings, but I know, deep within myself, that the most important thing for me is to take this time to be with you and meet you all, because I need your smile, your eyes and your silhouette. I need your voices that speak about life, the real life. Not the one of the soap operas. I need to know if I can be a little helpful to you if you need it.
So if I do not go to the church, I can’t be with you all. Don’t think that Facebook would replace this hug that can make all the difference to somebody. I don’t speak to the telephone but through it.
This is why I go to the church, and especially to The Church of the Savior almost every Sunday: for this Christian Love that unites us. The church is the place where time slows down and where you open your heart. Thank you for being with me every week.
Thank you for being with me every week.
Christos - the anointed - the Messiah
The true meaning of Christ’s Mass or Christmas often gets lost in our consumer-oriented society, which is why it is interesting to think about the origins of one of Christianity’s highest holy days - the birth of Christ, and according to the Pagan tradition, the return of the sun.
A celebration of the Roman pagan holiday, Saturnalia (in honor of Saturn, the God of Agriculture), which lasted from December 17-25, seems to be how the celebration of Christmas started. Saturnalia, was a time where people demonstrated goodwill, it was a time to feast, and it also was a time to offer gifts to others. Saturnalia began more than 200 years before Christ was born.
However, it was Pope Julius I who officially designated Christmas to be on December 25. Some say that this was precisely 9 months after the Annunciation, which is March 25. While history is necessary, it also lights a path to our traditions including caroling, the Christmas tree and the candy cane.
Pagans used to sing songs during the winter solstice while they danced around a stone circle. The word “carole” originally meant “round dance with singing” and is based on old French/Latin "choraula." Early Christians began using Christmas songs as early as the year 129. Most were written in Latin in the Middle Ages. It was St. Francis of Assisi who started the tradition of presenting carols in the native tongue of the people through his nativity plays that were in Italian.
The evergreen tree, representing life eternal, was used in the Saturnalia celebrations. Other cultures brought plants inside, such as hawthorn or cherry, hoping that they would bloom/flower at Christmas time. However, the first tree may have been erected in a town square was probably in either Latvia or Estonia in around 1510. Germany is credited with giving us St. Nicholas/Father Christmas.
The history and symbolism of the candy cane is also interesting coming from a choir master who wanted to keep children quiet through a nativity service. He made candy shepherd hooks that also looked like a “J” when turned upside down. The “J” standing for Jesus that also represented a shepherd’s staff. Some say the red of the candy cane represented blood, and the white the purity of Christ.
Our Christian history is extremely rich and symbolic. Let us take time to revel in our traditions and celebrate with understanding the intertwining beauty of our Pagan and Christian roots.