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Eve restored

I was reading an article about women in the Church today. And as I was talking about it to my husband afterwards, a thought struck me.

You know Peter, he of the three denials? Remember all those sermons you’ve heard about how Jesus said “Peter, do you love me?” three times, thus showing he was forgiven and restored to full relationship with God and no less than the disciples who had not deliberately denied Him three times?
Probably you do. It’s a popular theme, and a good one.

Here’s the thing.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.*

And then:

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”**

Eve brought sin to the world. And the Gospels, without exception, tell us that womankind brought the first news of the resurrection to the world. Forgiven, restored, no less than.

Truly,

there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.***

*Genesis 3:6, NIV
**Matthew 28:8-10 NIV; see also John 20:18, Mark 16: 7 and 10, and Luke 24: 9-10
*** Galatians 3:28

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Lent Bible readings v 2.0

I posted my original set of Lent Bible readings for children here back in 2010, and thought now might be a good time to update. Last year we shuffled it all around a bit to include stuff Nutmeg and Froglet don’t know as much about and leave out the stories they already have on their bookshelves. I know it’s a bit early to post about it, but I wanted to get it down somewhere so I can recycle the piece of paper I have been keeping the details on since last year!

Page numbers refer to The Children’s (Good News) Bible, edited by David Edwards, as that’s what I use because of Guido Bertolli’s lovely illustrations – see picture, courtesy of amazon. But I’ve included chapter and verse for everyone else. The references jump between books a bit as I’ve tried to pick the same segments used by Mr Edwards. They aren’t in chronological order, but begin with things Jesus did and then move on to things Jesus taught, followed by the Easter story.

I have included Sundays in our reading schedule, so below are the 39 days leading up to Holy Week, and then Holy Week itself, counting down to Easter Sunday. There are paragraph breaks before each Sunday, to help you keep track. This year Lent begins on Wednesday, February 13th.

1. The Baptism of Jesus Mtt: 3: 13-17
2. The Temptation of Christ Mtt 4:1-11
3. Jesus calls 4 Fishermen Mk 1:14-20
4. A man with an evil spirit Mk 1:21-28

5. Jesus heals many people Mk 1:29-34
6. Jesus preaches in Galilee and makes a leper clean Mk 1:35-45
7. Jesus heals a paralysed man Mk 2:1-12
8. Jesus calls Matthew Mtt 9:9-13
9. Jesus chooses the apostles, and his mother and brothers: Mk 4: 13-21 and 31-35
10. Jesus rejected at Nazareth Luke 4: 16-30
11. Jesus heals a Roman officer’s servant Luke 7:1-10

12. Jesus raises a widow’s son Luke 7:11-16
13. Jesus and Simon the Pharisee Luke 7: 36-50
14. Jesus heals a boy with an evil spirit Mark 9: 14-29
15. Jesus calms a storm Mark 4: 35-41
16. Jesus heals the man with Legion Mark 5: 1-20
17. Jairus’s daughter and the woman with the issue of blood Mark 5:21-43
18. The feeding of the 5000 Mark 6:31-44

19. Jesus walks on the water Mark 6:45-52
20. A woman’s faith Mark 7:24-30
21. Deaf and dumb man Mark 7:31-37
22. Jesus on loving enemies (p.227) Matthew 5:43-48
23. Jesus on prayer (p.228) Matthew 6:5-13
24. Jesus on possessions (p.229) Matthew 6:24-34
25. Ask, seek, knock (p.230) Matthew 7:7-12

26. The Greatest Commandment (p.233) Matthew 22:34-40
27. Who do you say that I am? (p. 238) Matthew 16:13-20
28. Jesus speaks about his death Mark 8:31-9:1
29. The Transfiguration Mark 9:2-13
30. Who is the greatest? Mark 9:33-37
31. Jesus blesses the children Mark 10:13-16
32. The Rich Man Mark 10:17-25

33. Sending the 72, and their return Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
34. Jesus heals a sick man Luke 14:1-6
35. Humility and hospitality Luke 14:7-14
36. Mary and Martha Luke 10:38-42
37. James and John’s request Mark 10:35-45
38. The blind beggar Luke 18:35-43
39. Zacchaeus Luke 19:1-10

Holy Week:
Palm Sunday: The Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem Mark 11: 1-11
Monday: Jesus goes to the Temple Mark 11:15-19
Tuesday: By whose authority? and the plot against Jesus (p.254 and 257) Mark 11:27-33
Wednesday: Jesus in Bethany, and Judas Mark 14: 3-11
Thursday: From the Passover through to Peter’s denial Mark 14:12-72
Good Friday: Jesus before Pilate through to the burial Mark 15 (see footnote!)
Saturday: “On the Sabbath they rested, as the law commanded” – Luke 23:56; you could also read Exodus 20:8-11
Easter Sunday: The Resurrection John 20:1-29

Footnote: The Children’s Bible has amalgamated all the different Gospel accounts of the crucifixion into one, so that it includes Jesus telling John that he is now Mary’s son, the insults of the crowd, Jesus’ promise to the criminal that they would be together in Paradise, and so on. Ditto for the Resurrection account.

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Jesus on heaven and hell?

A dear friend (whose blog I thoroughly recommend) sent me the following words of Jesus in answer to my previous post. You can see her comment there. My reply is below:

Luke 16:19-31:
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’

I’m not yet sure whether my friend is making the point that Jesus spoke of heaven vs hell, or some other point. But I’m going to assume the former for the sake of debate. 🙂

The interesting thing about this parable is the one thing Jesus does not say but we somehow assume he did:

Jesus does not specify that the rich man was a non-believer, or that the beggar was a believer of any sort. So this division into suffering and rewarded was not done on the basis of faith – at least Jesus doesn’t say so. And if he doesn’t say so, presumably that wasn’t the point of his story.

You could of course quite reasonably argue that as Jesus is speaking to a mainly Jewish audience, we can assume that his characters are all Jewish believers too. But even assuming that, we still have a situation where this is not about faith at all.

Now, the character of Abraham does specify that the rich man received good things in his life, whereas the beggar did not. I receive good things in my life. So do you, if you’re reading this. So do most Westerners, Christian and non-Christian alike. So is this parable telling us that you and I are going to hell, while many poverty-stricken (non-)Christians in Africa and India will be with Christ (or possibly Abraham) in heaven?

I hope not.

But more on that in a minute, first let’s look at a couple of other things.

– It appears that in Jesus’ story there could be communication between “heaven” and “hell”, which is something that most people’s mental version of heaven does not include – the ability to see our loved ones in torment? Or alternatively to see them enjoying themselves, from our own torment? Why does our vision of the afterlife not include these elements?
– What of the verses that state that Jesus went and preached to the souls in captivity, after his death? What was the point of that if, as the character of Abraham says, no one can cross over?
– The parable of the shrewd or dishonest manager almost immediately precedes this one. That’s the one in which Jesus appears to recommend acting dishonestly with our boss’s funds. Yet we Christians usually have a sense that we should avoid dishonesty in our business dealings. What’s the deal here?

The answer is obvious, and of course you’re way ahead of me already. Not every detail of a parable is meant to be analogical. Heaven and hell may not be exactly how Jesus describes them, but if the rich man can’t see Abraham or talk to him, the story doesn’t get to happen. And if Lazarus could cross over, the story might end there, or there would have to be some other reason Abraham couldn’t send him, so as to move it along to the final discussion, which is the essence of the parable. Parables are all about the punchline. Jesus’ point in the dishonest manager parable is to use our worldly wealth wisely – like the “pagans” do – because it will be of no use to us in the next life otherwise. And in this parable, the issue is not who is rich and who is poor – as Dumbledore might say, who you are is down to your choices, not your circumstance.

So here the clue lies in the final lines about listening to Moses and the Prophets, and, finally: “they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead”.
Who is “they”? Well, the wealthy (perhaps powerful) brothers of the rich man. And by extension, the rich/powerful in general.
Convinced of what? Of the existence of heaven/hell? No, because Abraham originally responds that the brothers should listen to Moses and the Prophets, who were distinctly hazy about what happens in the afterlife, but extremely clear on how one should treat others, especially from a position of power. Some of those prophets even specified that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was in fact oppressing others (check out Isaiah 3) and being “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49)*

I conclude that this parable is about treating others how God commands, or perhaps about using our wealth to help the poor and needy. Not about what the afterlife looks like, or what happens if you don’t believe in Jesus, or even what happens if you are rich (or not). Many non-Christians treat others more like God commands than many Christians do (sadly, I can include myself in this rather damning report). Many non-Christians use their wealth at least as well as “we” do, sometimes better. This parable does not give us any reason to believe that God will shut “them” out of heaven while letting “us” in, because this parable does not mention faith but only *gasp* works.

Finally, we mustn’t forget the final punchline, in which Jesus accurately predicts that just as the rich and powerful of his day (and throughout history) didn’t listen to Moses or the Prophets, they would also not listen to him, even after his death and resurrection. What did he tell us after his resurrection? Well, interestingly he did not warn us against hell. But you can read it for yourselves in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20.

In conclusion, this parable does not prove or disprove the existence of a fiery hell for unbelievers. And I hate the idea that there is a clear, visible-to-us in-crowd and an equally clear and visible-to-us bunch of rejects. A “them” and an “us”. Something we can use to keep other people away from us, to declare them unclean, not-worthy, less-than. Jesus appears to have felt the same way, based on the company he kept and people he was willing to touch. Which is why I very much like the response given by Brian McLaren recently to a question on the current (post-death) whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden:

(…) I think OBL’s destiny is to face the living God who is ultimately and absolutely and beautifully just and loving. (…) Whatever is wrong and evil in OBL will, I believe, be named, exposed, revealed, and dealt with appropriately, in the perfect light of God’s justice and love. Whatever remains of God’s good image inside OBL will be distinguished from the rest and dealt with appropriately, again in the perfect light of God’s justice and love. Whatever from his story can be healed will be healed. Whatever cannot will be dealt with in some other appropriate way. Somehow, grace will have the final word. Somehow, love will win – not at the expense of justice, but through and with and in justice. Beyond that, I have no desire to speculate … only to live my life in harmony with God’s justice and love.

(You can read the whole post at his blog here.)

*The idea that sexual perversion was the main problem in Sodom comes from Jude in the NT – Genesis does talk about them trying to rape the angels who came to see whether their sin was as great as God had heard, but does not say that this was their only sin or even the main one. Even Lot doesn’t appear to think that rape is a problem per se, since he offers them his daughters instead, but rather that raping his visitors is inacceptable. Elsewhere in the Old Testament punishment is meted out for raping a woman, so the issue here is not necessarily homosexuality either. This is not particularly reassuring for us, since being arrogant, overfed and unconcerned is just as rampant in Western society as “sexual perversion”, if not more so.

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How much does God love his children?

Yesterday I wrote about how much we love our children. I got a couple of answers to that – some on facebook, others on here – along the lines of “of course we would be reconciled, of course that is the better thing to do, of course that is the thing Jesus teaches us to do”.

Now another question.

Does God (through Jesus) ask more of us than he would be willing/able to do himself?

We would forgive our children and desire reconciliation with them – even after death if we could. We would not tell them never to come near us again – even after death, if we had the choice. We would never, ever tell them it was too late. Yet we are supposed to believe that God would refuse to even give the option of reconciliation and forgiveness, and would choose to reject them?

The God who is both loving and just.

The God of whom Jesus once said “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The God who desires all men to be saved.

Are we more loving than God?
Are we more just than God?
Are we more capable of forgiveness than God?
Are we more Christ-like than God?

The post of my uncle’s which I referenced yesterday included the following sentence:

[I] am getting more and more frustrated by the God that Rob Bell describes.
He’s just too small.

Is a God who desires and allows reconciliation with us really too small just because, as Bell suggests, he doesn’t make death the cut-off point?

Smaller than a god who says “sorry, you’re too late”?
Smaller than a god whose justice requires the guilty child to suffer for a while longer (forever?) so as to make them really repent, the fact that they’re standing there all repentant not being enough?
Smaller than a god whose never-failing love actually ends at the point of death?
Smaller than a god who demands that we love our enemies, while condemning his to eternal torment?
Or a god who only loves us after we become Christians and thus his children, so that he doesn’t care what happens to non-believers? (Yes I have heard that said, altough I doubt that it’s a common belief)

You’ll notice that I didn’t capitalise God in those sentences. That’s because I actually think the god they describe is too small. Too small to be the real God, the one portrayed by Christ (“the image of the invisible God”), the one who – rather than inflicting suffering – suffered and suffers for us and with us, the one who breaks down walls rather than creating them, the one who is at work reconciling all things to him. That God is glorious and amazing and his love for everyone is completely beyond my comprehension.
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How much do you love your child(ren)?

Let’s imagine a family. Two parents, and several children, but we’re just interested in one, who we will call Kim Smith (because the child’s gender doesn’t matter*).

When Kim is about 16, there is an argument. It’s really a very big argument, and Kim ends up running away and refusing to see Mr and Mrs Smith for a very long time. Let’s say 5 years. Then Kim realises, somehow, perhaps through one of the other children or a family friend, that it was actually all a misunderstanding, and returns to the family seeking reconciliation.

Now imagine you are Mr or Mrs Smith.

Would you refuse to be reconciled to Kim, your child, after 5 years apart?
How about after 10 years?
20? 30? 50? 70? (We’re assuming everyone involved is still alive.)

Let’s suppose you died and all ended up in heaven. Kim didn’t come back to you before your death, but now your child comes looking for you.

“Oh, sorry,” you say. “It’s too late, you know. You’re dead now. You should have come a bit sooner and we could have been reconciled, but now, no sorry, I don’t want to ever see you again. After all, I have plenty of other children. Ciao!”

(Would you say that? If not, let’s pretend you would for a moment.)

Your spouse, the other Smith parent, disagrees and chooses to be reconciled – and that’s ok with you, of course, as long as you don’t have to be involved.

Now then.
Which of you two parents, if any, is the bigger person? Why?
Which of you, if any, is the more godly** person? Why?
Which of you, if any, is the more loving person? Why?
Which of you, if any, is the more just person? Why?

I will write more about this next week, but in the meantime, my uncle got me thinking about this, so if you’d like to see how, please check out his blog here.

*If you didn’t think “Kim” could be used for either sex, check out Rudyard Kipling’s book of the same name. It’s an excellent read.

**I’m working with a Christian perspective here, but I’d also be interested to hear your reply based on other belief systems if this scenario works within them.

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Some thoughts on short-term missions

Summer is coming and for lots of people that means it’s short-term mission season! I’ve only been on one STM. India when I was 18. I was woefully ill-prepared – as much my own fault as anyone else’s perhaps – and I’m sure I committed any number of faux-pas. Like dancing without shoes on because flipflops are so hard to dance in. No one told me how inappropriate it was to have no shoes on. No one told me that flip flops are for indoor wear in India – until years later my friend who is married to an Indian mentioned it. Who knows what other worrying things I did on that trip in my ignorance!

Anyway I wanted to link to an excellent blog post by Tara Livesay, whose name some of you may recognise from the Haiti Earthquake coverage last year. She blogs about some of the problems that can arise for long-term missionaries after the short-term mission has gone home (or even while they’re still there). It’s worth reading if you’re thinking about going on mission, just so you can be better prepared than I was. If you read the link, do read the comments too, many people have made interesting points and given helpful advice for would-be short-term missionaries. And if you don’t read it now, do bookmark her blog to read later anyway. It’ll make you laugh and weep and cry out to God for Haiti (and other things) – sometimes all in the same post.

Here’s the link: http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/2011/03/thinking-through-stm.html

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Rob Bell… any thoughts?

I know many people out there dislike Rob Bell intensely and think he’s a heretic. Their number may, perhaps, be equalled by those who are huge fans, own all his published works and listen to his Sunday sermons through the internet.

I fall into neither of those camps. I came across Rob Bell through my parents, who showed us one of his DVDs – not the short Nooma ones, but the longer live show ones – which The Engineer and I liked very much and subsequently purchased along with another one of his. I also hear about him, occasionally, on Brian McLaren’s blog, which I follow. But I have never read anything of his, until now.

With all the uproar about the new book, I was intrigued, not sufficiently to acquire a copy, but sufficiently to get involved in several discussions on Facebook. But in the end, after getting tired of seeing article after article, on this blog and that, lambasting the poor man without actually having read what he had to say, I decided perhaps a purchase was in order. Since we like his spoken style (and have heard “interesting” things about how that looks in writing) we decided to go for the audiobook, read by himself, and so far we’ve not been disappointed. I also like audiobooks read by the author because you can be sure that what you “hear” in your mind is what they actually meant. Or at least, surer than if you were merely reading words on paper.

I’m not going to blog about it on here – maybe the occasional thought but not much – but if you have thoughts or would like to read more of my thoughts I’d love you to pop across to my dad’s new blog where he is musing about his own responses and where I also comment, sometimes at length. (Surprise surprise!)

Here’s what he has to say about his blog:

I’ve never been one for journaling and although I use Facebook I’ve not blogged either. But earlier this month I joined a discussion – a series of messages really – started by my daughter on Facebook and found I had a lot of thoughts. My brother joined in too and the discussion became rather long. So I thought: “A blog is the place for this.” And here we are!

I’m sure he’d be happy to receive comments. And so would I – here or there!

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Review: the voice of psalms

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The voice of psalms is a paperback retelling of the Biblical book of Psalms by the Ecclesia Bible Society, published by Thomas Nelson. It’s part of a larger project called “the voice”. Like many Bibles, it includes some commentary and some daily reading plans but that is pretty much where the similarities end.

The first thing that struck me was that here is a very beautiful book. The text is laid out like poetry, with a single column per page, and the pages themselves have a lovely background design giving a feeling of sacred art that the plain-white, onion-skin pages of a standard Bible never really conveyed to me.

Additions to the text have been inserted in italics rather than footnotes, and I found myself in two minds about this. The translator in me understands the need to expand on a phrase because the English equivalent doesn’t convey the subtler nuances of the original. At the same time I find the voice in the back of my head going “aha, italics: an optional extra” very distracting! However, having finished reading a whole passage I could then look back and see what the italics had really added, for instance in the 23rd Psalm a sense of present danger, which isn’t so tangible in the more traditional versions, with or without footnotes. Of course, I’m not a Hebrew scholar, so I can’t really tell how accurate that sense is either!

I did appreciate that the translators didn’t feel the need to modernise the language all the way into slang, which was something I found very off-putting with the Message version of the Psalms even though I was in my early twenties then.

All in all I like the book, but I wonder if the format – especially the italics – will be too hard to get used to, so I won’t ditch my NIV just yet. I wouldn’t buy it as a first Bible for a new believer, but it’s good as a fresh look at a too-familiar text, as long as you’re looking for a narrative rather than a constitution-type document to be taken literally.

Just two more things (which I didn’t put in my amazon review): some of you may remember I was looking for a program of advent readings last autumn. Well the voice of psalms has one with readings from Psalms and other books! And also a Lent program! Pretty cool huh.

And secondly, they also do various other books, but the one that attracted me most is called the voice from on high, which contains excerpts from 19 Bible books referring to Jesus as the Liberating King. That one sounds really cool and I think would work well in this format, not to mention that Brian McLaren, one of my favourite authors, is involved, so I’ll get it and keep you posted. 🙂

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Lent Bible readings for kids

Haven’t had chance to blog for a while. Life takes over…

Nonetheless, I wanted to write a bit abut what we’re doing for Lent. We haven’t given anything up (although I am working on giving up shouting at the children!) but rather we have picked something up: Bible reading. I’ve never felt like Froglet could really follow the Bible itself, although of course we have Bible story books. But since we enjoyed having daily readings over Advent, I thought we’d have daily readings for Lent too. These are (mostly) from the Gospel of Luke. I tried to pick stories and things Jesus did rather than too many of the straight teachings, because Froglet is, after all, only four. On Sundays we’re reading the bits where Jesus talked about his death. We have a great illustrated book that was also mine as a child, published by Ladybird, and called The Easter Story. Froglet loves it. As he already knows about the death and resurrection, I thought it was worth showing him that Jesus knew this was coming. But you could easily just leave out the Sunday readings (or replace them), as they aren’t in chronological order with the rest anyway.

We are reading these out of a copy of the Good News Bible which was mine when I was small – it has more pictures than my NIV, although not many, and the wording is a bit simpler.

Today (Wednesday) is day 25. Sundays aren’t counted in the 40 days of Lent so I haven’t numbered them.

Day 1: John the Baptist – Lk 3:2-22
Day 2: In the desert – Lk 4:1-15
Day 3: Nazareth – Lk 4: 16-30
Day 4: Lk 4: 31-44
1st Sunday: Who am I – Lk 9: 18-27
5: Calling the disciples – Mtt 4:18-22 and Lk 5:27-31
6: Skin-disease – Lk 5:12-16
7: Paralysis – Lk 5: 17-26
8: The Sabbath – Lk 6: 1-11
9: The Apostles – Lk 6: 12-19
10: Love your enemies – Lk 6: 27-36
2nd Sunday: The transfiguration – Lk 9: 37-43
11: The house on the rock – Lk 6:46-49
12: The Roman officer – Lk 7: 1-10
13: Raising the dead – Lk 7:11-23
14: Forgiving sins – Lk 7:36-50
15: The parable of the sower – Lk 8:4-15
16: The storm – Lk 8:22-25
3rd Sunday: Predicting Jesus’ death – Lk 18: 31-34
17: Jairus’ daughter – Lk 8:40-56
18: Feeding the 5000 – Lk 9:10-17
19: The boy with an evil spirit – Lk 9: 37-43
20: Sending out the 72 – Lk 10:1-11, 16-20
21: The Samaritan woman – Lk 10:25-37
22: Martha – Lk 10: 38-42
4th Sunday: The tenants in the vineyard – Lk 20:9-18
23: Prayer – Lk 11:1-13
24: Don’t worry – Lk 12:13-31
25: Healing on the Sabbath – Lk 13:10-17, 14:1-6
26: The lost sheep – Lk 15: 1-7
27: The lost coin – Lk 15:8-10
28: The lost son – Lk 15:11-32
5th Sunday: the rich man and Lazarus – Lk 16:19-31
29: Forgiveness – Lk 17:3-4
30: Healing the ten lepers – Lk 17:11-19
31: Always pray – Lk 18:1-8
32: Pharisee and tax collector – Lk 18:9-14
33: Children – Lk 18:15-17
34: Rich man / widow – Lk 18:18-27, 21:1-4
Palm Sunday: Entering Jerusalem – Lk 19:28-40
35: The blind beggar – Lk 18:35-43
36: Zacchaeus – Lk 19:1-10
37: Parable of the talents – Lk 19:11-26
38: Passover meal – Lk 22:1-23, 31-34
39 (Good Friday): Arrest and death – Lk 23 (I will use the afore-mentioned book here)
40: Burial – Lk 23:50-56
Easter Sunday: the Resurrection – Lk 24 (book again)

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Second Week of Advent

December 6th, second Sunday of Advent. We’re supposed to be making angels but have skipped it due to not finishing the trees yet. But St Nicolas came today and brought a Wii Fit Plus (just the CD-rom, as we already have the basic Wii Fit), which everyone was very pleased about. We particularly like the game where you flap your arms to fly like a bird. I found a whole new set of muscles in my arms!

December 7th. Today Froglet’s nursery is being visited by the saint too. He usually brings such items as satsumas, peanuts and cookies (I think I’ve mentioned this before)

December 8th. The Ten commandments are today’s Jesse Tree reading. Time to learn a new memory verse (the last one was Genesis 1:1) – obey your mother and father!

December 9th The Engineer is ill this week so not much is happening. We will have to catch up on making the Jesse Tree ornaments this weekend, but are still having the readings every day. Froglet is very much enjoying them although I think he often doesn’t understand.

December 12th. We have chickenpox! But that is not stopping us in the slightest as Froglet only has it mildly. The Engineer helped me paint the kids’ hands and feet to make hand-foot angels which we were supposed to do ages ago and didn’t get round to. I still have to cut them out and stick them together.

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