Monday, 26 December 2011

The feast of Stephen


I hope you had a blessed Christmas this year. We did, my poor Mum was poorly but she was well enough on Christmas Day to eat some dinner and play some games.

Today is traditionally St Stephen's Day in England (I presume it is in other countries too). It is also known as Boxing Day. Boxing Day is traditionally the time to collect money in an 'alms' box for the poor or to distribute to workers in thanks for a year's hard work.

Bizarrely it is also Wren hunting day today. I've just read that it was illegal to hunt wrens everyday of the year except on the 26th December.

"The wren, the wren, the king of all birds
On St Stephen's Day was caught in the furze,
We hunted him far and hunted him near
And found him under the bushes here.
Hurrah, my boys, hurrah!
Hurrah, my boys, hurrah!
Knock at the knocker and ring at the bell,
And give us a copper for singing so well."

So armed with this information, I'm off out with Boots the cat to kill some tiny birds... ;P

Not. :)

On a more serious note, I think that Boxing Day has two merits in the Christian life. It is a day to remember the poor at this time of year (in fact a reminder that we should always remember the poor) and it is also a time to remember the first martyr - Stephen.

And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:59-60

'Lord, do not charge them with this sin', only someone whose whole heart was given to God and who was filled with the fruit of the Spirit could possibly, as he was being painfully stoned to death, cry out for forgiveness for his attackers. Unlike me. I feel like blaming someone if I stub my toe, so I have a long way to go. But we press on.

Here's to a wonderful New Year.

Hugs.

5 comments:

  1. glad you had a nice Christmas! always enjoy the new facts you find. :) had a nice one here too.

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  2. Sarah, Stephen's remark reminded me of the quote of Jesus on the cross-"Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
    Happy New Year and God Bless.

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  3. Stephen is *amazing*, his is one of my favorite testimonies in the Bible.

    Thanks for sharing the info on Boxing Day, I'd heard of it but didn't really know what it was.

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  4. Hi Sarah!

    Thank you for stopping by to wish me a Merry Christmas! I have not been in blog land for so long (due to studying for my new job) ...I went back and read some of your previous posts. So so interesting!! Especially the book about the children...nearly broke my heart. I have of course known about the issues of children working years ago...but the pictures and the reminder gave me a re-newed appreciation for how fortunate we are today. Also I am so sorry about your loss.

    I, too, having some growing to do in regards to Stephen's beautiful response to such horrid acts of the people who stoned him. I love love love your verse by Amy Carmichael. I used to listen to a radio program by Elisabeth Elliott and she would quote Amy Carmichael allll the time as she adored Amy and her walk with the Lord!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!
    Hugs, Carolyn ~ Cottage Sunshine

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  5. Glad to hear you had a good Christmas. We did too. I hope you mother is feeling a lot better. The information about Boxing Day was interesting...I didn't know much about it.

    I hope you enjoy a very Happy New Year! :)

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