The Christian Calendar

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Holidays

I am beginning a new series on holidays, focusing especially on Christian holidays.  This will give me the opportunity to explore the origins of some of our major holidays and share reflections on them from a Christian perspective.… Continue reading

Advent: A Season of Preparation and Hope

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Holidays

Advent is the name given to the period of preparation leading up to Christmas.  It begins on the 4th Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.  In churches that use a formal liturgical church calendar, Advent… Continue reading

When Was Jesus Born?

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Holidays

First of all, it is unlikely that Jesus was born on December 25.  The Bible does not tell us the date of Christ’s birth.  The ancient church did not celebrate Christ’s birth at all, choosing instead to… Continue reading

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Holidays

In recent years it has become the norm in public to wish people “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.”  I can understand the concern about offending the minority who adhere to other religions or no religion at all.… Continue reading

The Origin of Santa Claus

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Holidays

There are many Christmas customs that have nothing to do with the birth of Christ.  What about the the most distinctive Christmas symbol of all, the “jolly old elf”?  Some Christians have pointed out rather ominously that… Continue reading

The Twelve Days of Christmas

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Holidays

Have you ever wondered about the “twelve days of Christmas”?  In the U.S. many people think that the “twelve days of Christmas” are the 12 days leading up to Christmas.  Some holiday advertising makes this assumption. … Continue reading

Valentines Day

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Holidays

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of romantic love, usually accompanied by an exchange of cards, flowers and candy.  On several occasions as I was doing my Valentine’s shopping I found myself in a checkout line with several men… Continue reading

What is Lent?

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Holidays

[I originally wrote this article in February 2007.  I have now moved it into the holiday series so that it will be linked to all the other holiday articles.]

Lent is a time of soul-searching and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection on Good Friday and Easter. In the Western Church, Lent consists of the 40 days before Easter, not counting Sundays. Continue reading

Saint Patrick’s Day

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Holidays

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day. What was the origin of this day, and who was Saint Patrick?  And what in the world does it have to do with leprechauns and shamrocks?

Who was Saint Patrick?

Patrick (c. 387… Continue reading

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"True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less." -- C. S. Lewis