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In the arena, daring greatly

It is not the critics who count, not those who point out how the strong stumble, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again… and who knows at the worst that, if they fail, at least they failed while daring greatly. Their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Jesus must be weeping

‘If you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.’ (Matt. 18:6)

The recent revelation from the Royal Commission that 20% of those in religious orders have allegedly abused children defies comprehension. Albeit briefly, drowning them with a great millstone comes to mind.

Scandalous, divine, or both?

Christmas is associated with the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, or more accurately the doctrine of the Virginal Conception.

It’s an esoteric doctrine, as well as a stumbling block for many modern people.

This year, I have re-discovered something more compelling and ‘miraculous’ than the Virginal Conception.

It has to do with Joseph.

According to Matthew, Joseph discovered that his betrothed was pregnant, ‘from the Holy Spirit.’ (Matt. 1: 18) Albeit a divine attribution, it didn’t negate a potential scandal.

Ask the writer of Luke, “Why a baby story?”

The writer of Luke’s gospel sat down about 100AD (maybe) to write his Gospel. It was about the same time after Jesus as World War II is for us. Luke wanted to explain why Jesus was different.

Only half the Gospels have Jesus as a baby. Luke is the most well-known Christmas story. Most of us know the Luke story and add bits of Matthew’s that fit (and drop the rest). Mark and John do not bother with stories of Jesus as a baby.


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