September 29, 2008

Christian Calendar

The Christian Calendar begins with the season of Advent - when God incarnated Himself, entering our human history. God asks us more than 300 times in scripture to "remember", and the calendar is a great tool for remembering. Remembering what? All the God-in-our-midst stories - past, present, future - First and Second Testament, and then Third Testament stories. Rather than linear time, view it cyclically, revisiting the stories.

So, some current calendar things:
CS Lewis became a Christian September 28, 1931, while riding to a zoo in his brother's motorcycle sidecar. "When we set out I did not believe that Jesus is the Son of God and when we reached the zoo I did." Lewis had already become a theist, but his conversion followed a long talk he'd had the week before with two Christian frinds: JRR Tolkien and Hugo Dyson.

Some sad dates:
In 1498 a Tomas de Torquemada, of Jewish blood, died Sept 27. He had been made grand inquisitor in Spain. Thousands of people completely at a loss as to what they were supposed to have done, were tortured to death as 'guilty' victims. By 1492, he had all unconverted Jews expelled from all the Spanish kingdoms. (Makes me remember in sadness Salem Witch Trials and other inquisition stories, as well as the many persecutions and massacres of Jews throughout history.)

In 1565 nearly 500 Huguenot settlers in Florida - having fled persecution in their native France - were slaughtered Sept 29 by Spanish soldiers. (Makes me ask, "why do we not like people who are different from us?" Or remember the the apostle Paul, who as Saul, so thought he was doing what was right, when he was persecuting and killing Christians!)

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