25DEC2018 – Quote of the Day

Merry Christmas to All the Readers out there (even you Atheists and Democrats!)

Matthew 2:1-12 King James Version (KJV)

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

24DEC2018 – Quote of the Day

Merry Christmas to All the Readers out there (even you Atheists and Democrats!)

Luke 2:1-20 King James Version (KJV)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

An Old Guy Reconsiders Ecclesiastes

I’m not an intensely religious man.  I ponder the questions of who, what, how and why in much the same way I imagine men always have.  But I do read the Bible and I have my favorite passages.  In the Old Testament I gravitate to Ecclesiastes 9:7 to 9:10.

The King James Version translates it thus:

7Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

8Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.

 9Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

 10Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

 

Now something in verse nine always bothered me.  “All the days of the life of thy vanity.”  So, Solomon says our lives and our happiness and our loves and our families are in vain?

I dug a little deeper and found that the Hebrew word being translated as vanity is “hevel.”  The root meaning of hevel I have read, is “mere breath.”  And the connotation is insubstantial, ephemeral.  That makes a little more sense.  Life is ephemeral.  We have a thousand versions of this.  “Time flies, “life is short,” “ars longa vita brevis,” etc., etc., etc.

I felt better about that.  I retranslated that passage:

Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the fleeting days of thy life, which he hath given thee under the sun, all thy fleeting days:

 That’s better.  So, that’s how I became a biblical scholar.  The pay is non-existent but I imagine the big guy up there will appreciate me straightening out the English language version of his book.  So, I’ve got that going for me which is nice.

But I was still disturbed by the negative vibe of all this ephemeral talk.  Was Solomon trying to bum us out?  In fact, the whole book of Ecclesiastes was a giant downer.  Here’s a guy who’s got everything in the world.  He’s got gold, silver and bronze literally piled up to the sky.  He’s got wives and concubines to the extent that he probably was considering a vow of chastity just to save his own life.  He’s blessed by God with matchless wisdom and a mighty nation that views his word as law.  He should be the happiest man on earth.  Why is he griping about everything under the sun?

It’s because he sees the end of the road.  He sees his own death on the horizon.  In other words, he’s old.

And now I’m old and I understand.  You see all the things you should have done or shouldn’t have done and you’re filled with regret and anger at yourself.  And since Solomon knows himself to be the wisest man on earth he sees it as his part to tell the rest of us to stop chasing all the meaningless stuff like gold and silver and empires and just eat our bread, drink our wine and love our wives for as long as we’re allowed.

Now I no longer see Ecclesiastes as a depressing work.  I see it as a friendly signpost to the rest of us to cut to the chase and take care of the things that have actual meaning.  Keeping healthy with food that is good, enjoying the simple pleasures of life and loving your wife and your family.  And don’t waste time.  Time is short.  Use it.  So that’s why my articles are short too.  I’ve got most of today off and I intend to have some fun.  Have a great day.

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Coming Soon
Total Votes : 56