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June 09 2022 By dvirtue THE GIFT OF NUMBERS

God chose to have His Holy Spirit descend on the Apostles on the 50th day after the Resurrection. So, 50 has come to be known as the number of the Holy Spirit. But the feast bears a Greek name: Pentecost, and it is the only feast celebrated by both Christians and Jews. Jews celebrate the giving of the Torah on the 50th day after Passover, and it is the most important day in their history.

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May 20 2022 By dvirtue Loss of Direction

Jesus' promise to those who lose their lives for His sake offers some comfort: "Whoever loses his life for me will find it" (Matt: 16:26). But where? At the church which has sold the Gospel down the river? At the soup kitchen which provides a steady diet of woke theology? At the homeless shelter where people sleep on beds of diversity, equity and inclusion? This search seems endless and pointless.

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May 09 2022 By dvirtue Deliver Us From Evil

In the movie one of the adventurers kills a backwoodsman sodomizing one of his friends. Evil battling evil has been one of the themes since the Bible. Joseph's brothers selling him into slavery as recompense for Joseph's lording it over them. Elijah killing the prophets of Baal after they failed to implore their god to ignite a pyre. Judith beheading Holofernes rather than have him decimate her town. As old as this theme is, there is no exit. Evil will always raise its ugly head.

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April 18 2022 By dvirtue FORGIVING IGNORANCE

This otherworldly grace and forgiveness challenges us 2000 years after the words were first uttered and 60 years after Ruby repeated them. The ignorance of the powers that nailed Jesus to the cross has been repeated in every generation since. Power never cedes its authority willingly and when melded with evil must be met with defiance–defiance that risks all, even death.

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January 02 2022 By dvirtue The Magi's Perilous Journey

But even in that era, kings were not born. Princes--sons of the monarch--had to survive palace intrigues, sibling rivalries, and foreign invasions to take their thrones. Even a cursory understanding of the Old Testament reveals that the odds of the eldest son taking the throne of his father were not great. Even Herod the Great, the king of Judea at the time of the magi's visit, was placed on the throne by Marc Antony after a deadly civil war.

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December 21 2021 By dvirtue The Light the Shepherds Saw

Through His angels, God chose to announce His Son's birth to shepherds outside Bethlehem. We don't know how far away they were or how they made it to the manger bearing the infant. The heavenly host had lit up the night sky, but by the time of the shepherd's journey, the host had dispersed. Travel by night was perilous. We don't know if the shepherds were led by a dog: the star leading the wise men to the creche had not yet appeared.

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November 23 2021 By dvirtue The Union of People

Still, God's purpose of persons linking across generational, ethnic and geographic lines stays with us. Ruth's aspiration that Naomi's people be hers is more than her hope for abundance in a strange land: it is a commitment to be faithful against the odds. Few people, whether in-laws or not, are willing to make that commitment.

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October 29 2021 By dvirtue The Darkness of Counsel

So asks God of a remonstrant Job covered in boils, sitting in ashes, bereft of his family and earthly possessions. Job had earned this fate because God had decided to test him, an upright man, challenged to do so by the Prince of Darkness to see if a good man stripped of health, wealth and lineage would curse God. Three friends urge him to do so.

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September 28 2021 By dvirtue Nine Decades and Counting

Ninety years is longer than any of my immediate forbears has "enjoyed" on this earth. I put "enjoy" in quotes as for them and many I suspect their last years were wracked with infirmity. Even if they didn't complain, you knew that they believed that their time had come and they were waiting for the inevitable. By contrast my friend seems not to share this viewpoint: he genuinely looks forward to the morrow.

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August 10 2021 By dvirtue A Voice Crying

The desert of my college was not the arid landscape of ancient Sinai, Judea and points East but a bucolic New England town. Still the place was far removed from cities and airports, highways and seaports. Some there have used its location as a rostrum to point the way toward truth.

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