Scripture: For the wisdom of this world is foolishness
with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness.”
1 Corinthians 3:19, NKJV
Am I rushing the season as I write this in early November?
Not necessarily. Let’s take a slightly different look at determining the
seasons, and, in so doing, think about customs that we have ‘etched in stone.’
First, bring to mind (or hand) a round object- a ball
or globe - with a smooth, unmarked surface. Examine it carefully. At what
point does it begin or end?
You could, in fact, pick a place on it, any place,
and say, “Begin HERE.” If you draw a line around the circumference of the
ball, you will come back to the point that you picked as a starting place
Happy New Year!
As this terrestrial ball upon which we live circumnavigates
the sun, we will eventually return to where we observe a complete circuit
in our celestial journey, and begin a new year.
Think about this - We traditionally observe four points
in that circuit as marking the beginning of winter, spring, summer, and
autumn. Do they really? Seems to me that a different weather pattern has
already arrived at 40º north latitude in early November. Feels like
winter. Half way through this wintery-feeling season we finally get to call
it as it is - winter - at the actual midpoint of the season.
That’s right! The midpoint, called the ‘solstice.’ Suppose,
instead, that we started winter at a point, called the ‘quarter point, halfway
between the autumn and winter solstice. That would place the beginning of
winter in early November, close to Halloween. Mid December’s solstice would
mark not the beginning, but the midpoint of winter. And the end of winter
and start of spring-like weather? Near Ground Hog’s Day!
Catch a pattern here? It is not just by accident that
some peoples have special observances on Halloween and Ground Hog’s Day.
In fact, the ancient Celtic peoples observed the autumn-winter quarter point
as their new year’s day - So, Happy New Year!
Think about it. The Romans - good ol’ Julius Caesar
- shuffled the calendar around a lot. Some shuffling honored famous Romans
(or their gods) and picked a point with no special celestial significance.
The moral to this story? When the wind chill hits single
digits, the snow is up to your boot tops, and daylight hours keep decreasing,
some cheerful calendar watcher will remind you that winter doesn’t ‘officially’
start until late December. I’m going to be thinking that winter is half
over at the solstice, thumbing through my seed catalogs and dreaming of
spring as daylight hours begin to grow longer.
Think we could get the world to change to better align
with the celestial truth?
Nah. Worldly wisdom seldom agrees with God’s wisdom.
November 5, 2006
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