Monday, December 26, 2005

St. Stephen's Day & A Christmas Update

Today is St. Stephen's Day, commemorating the first Christian martyr. You can read his story in Acts chapters 6 and 7. Here's how it ends:

They threw him out of the city, and began to stone
him....As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my
spirit." Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not
hold this sin against them"; and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Obviously, "fell asleep" here doesn't mean he had a light, refreshing nap. It's something to keep in mind any time you come across the "health and wealth gospel" (if you just have enough faith you'll have plenty of money, you'll never get sick, and nothing really bad will happen to you) people. Christians are called to take up the cross, and sometimes they get nailed to it--usually figuratively speaking, but not always, as for example with St. Peter.

As for Christmas, Auntie Suzanne and Uncle Pookie had a pretty nice one--hardly any martyrdom involved at all :-). We attended mass at the church we used to go to (where Uncle Pookie got his new, handmade-by-me rosary blessed by the Irish priest; especially appropriate as this rosary has a St. Patrick center, emerald green beads, and a Celtic cross-style crucifix and is stored in a bag made of shamrock print fabric) and spent the rest of the day with relatives--both in-laws and out-laws as the saying goes. There was more relative-visiting for me today. And far too much food for both of us.

I was pleased that my gifts were well-received. The corn bags went over well. Seinfeld-in-a-box (everything crafted except the Jujyfruits and Junior Mints, and I added writing to those boxes) got laughs. The marble magnets were new to the recipients, and one of the decorative Altoids tin containers went over a treat. My father liked his artists' deer reference book and salvage-store purchased canvases. So I did good.

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