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January 2015 – St Mary’s Great Chart & Singleton
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January 2015

This month’s blog is by Derek Goodwin, one of our Readers.

Welcome to 2015!

I guess by now some of you may have broken your New Year Resolution; or at least be wondering whether it was such a good idea to give up chocolate and wine at the same time?

Although it was so good to see many happy smiling faces, enjoying our Christmas Services in St Mary’s Great Chart and St Mary’s Singleton; as I think back to Christmas 2014 there were more and more public services, restaurants, shops and media referring to Christmas as the Festive Season, or winter break; which to me seems rather sad. I was talking to someone the week before Christmas and he said he had just been to his daughter’s Nativity Play and there were all sorts of strange people involved; super heroes and cartoon characters etc and asked what that was all about? I replied it would probably get worse before it gets better because there are many other agendas running in regard to celebrating Christmas! He then said he wasn’t a religious person, but asked why Christianity is the only religion that apologises to other religions about it’s Faith and Belief? He then went on to say he thought this was a Christian country, why would we not celebrate Christmas and say it is Christmas? This now seems all the more poignant in light of the recent events in France.

It seems Christ is quietly being ‘air-brushed’ out of history, even 2015AD is seen by some as inappropriate. In some cases we now have BCE instead of BC and CE instead of AD. Anno Domini is Latin for the ‘Year of our Lord’ and BC means ‘Before Christ’. In an effort to appease those who may find this offensive, or inappropriate, some historians and writers refer to BCE which means ‘Before Common Era’ and CE which means ‘Common Era’. Anno Domini is never used in the Bible, and in fact it was around 525AD before this was adopted to reflect the changes and impact of the life of Christ. Common Era can be traced back to Latin usage among European Christians to 1615AD, as “Vulgaris Aera”’ and to 1635AD in English as “Vulgar Era”.  At those times, the expressions were all used interchangeably with ‘Christian Era’, with ‘vulgar’ meaning ordinary, common, or not regal, rather than crudely indecent. Use of the CE abbreviation was introduced by academics in the mid-19th century; although I did recently visit the British Museum and thankfully they are still using BC and AD. Also, we can of course always substitute the word Christian for the word ‘common’.

So there we have it, maybe this year we can all resolve to celebrate Easter at Easter, Christmas at Christmas and rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the ‘Reason for the Season’?

Jesus only ever preached Love and Forgiveness, may we all try to do the same.

Have a good New Year!


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