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Tuesday, January 7, 2020


Tuesday after Epiphany
ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS-DISTAFF DAY


Psalm 103, Verse 11
For as the heavens tower over the earth, so his mercy towers over those who fear him.


The earth is indeed blessed among all the planets in our solar system because of our heaven. As the heavens have made the earth a garden rich with life like so is God grace over those who are faithful and love Him. Never forget our Lord asked Peter if he loves Him three times.  One time for each of the times Peter denied our Lord on the eve of His crucifixion thus nullifying Peter’s denials and restoring him. Christ asks Peter with each affirmation to 1) feed His lambs 2) tend His sheep and 3) feed His sheep. 

First Christ asked Peter if he loves Him more than the others thus establishing Peters leadership on love. Next Christ tells Peter to feed His lambs to give them a core of strength. If we wish to develop strength in ourselves and others it is imperative that we give hope, confidence, a work ethic, resilience, self-control and courage to the lambs in our charge.

Secondly Christ asks Peter to “tend His sheep” or that is to give a firm purpose to direct their efforts to create the Kingdom of God.

Lastly Christ asks Peter to “Feed His sheep” by having an understanding heart and to be compassionate, faithful, merciful, tolerant, forgiving and generous.

How God Raises a Leader[1] (Psalm 103: 1-5)

1.      God pardons (v.3) leaders must push past shame or blame.
2.      God heals (v.3) they must become healthy and be liberated from old wounds.
3.      God redeems (v.4) they see their abilities and personality redeemed.
4.      God crowns (v.4) they are given gifts and a place to serve.
5.      God satisfies (v.5) they feel satisfied and fulfilled as they live out their role.


Natural Leadership vs. Spiritual Leadership

Natural Leader
Spiritual Leader

1.      Self-Confident
1.      Confident in God
2.      Knows Men
2.      Knows God
3.      Makes own decisions
3.      Seeks to find God’s will
4.      Ambitious
4.      Self-Sacrificing
5.      Originates own methods
5.      Finds and follows God’s methods
6.      Enjoys commanding others
6.      Servant of all
7.      Motivated by self-interest
7.      Motivated by love of God and Man
8.      Independent
8.      God-dependent
9.      Gets power through personality
9.      Empowered by the Holy Spirit
10.  Cowboy driving the herd
10.  Shepard leading the flock

Jesus led his disciples from being natural leaders to being spiritual leaders who were not afraid of asking questions and or the answer they may get. As a result, they transformed the earth through good works and humility:


Orthodox Christmas[2]


Well if you have not got enough of the Christmas Season you can always celebrate with the Orthodox Catholics.

Some Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th, but others mark the birth of Jesus on a variety of dates including January 7th and January 19th. It depends on which calendar the particular church follows - while western Christendom has adopted the Gregorian calendar, some Orthodox churches use the older Julian calendar to calculate the dates for holy feast days. December 25th on the original Julian calendar falls on January 7th of our calendar. Most Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on this date; however, some churches, including Armenian orthodox Christians use the revised Julian calendar and their Christmas falls on January 19th of our calendar. While Christmas is a very important religious celebration for Orthodox Christians, it falls second to Easter which they consider to be the most important date in the religious calendar.

Religious Observance of Orthodox Christmas

Most believers in the Eastern Orthodox Church prepare for Christmas with 40 days of fasting, continuing right up until late on Christmas Eve Jan 6th.

·         Traditionally, when the first star appears on Christmas Eve Eastern Orthodox Christians will break their fast with a celebratory meal.
·         Also, on Christmas Eve, traditionally Orthodox Christians will cut a branch from a tree and bring it into their home, as a symbol that Jesus is entering their house and their hearts.
·         A prayer and blessing will be said before the Christmas Eve feast begins, and the head of the family will greet each person present with the traditional Christmas greeting of 'Christ is born' to which the response is 'Glorify him!'. Then the bread will be torn by hand and shared with all present. Some families will have straw scattered around the table, as a reminder of Jesus's birth in the manger.
·         On Christmas Day, Orthodox Christians will attend Divine Liturgy, which will usually be a little longer than usual due to being an exceptional religious holiday. It is traditional to light candles in honor of Jesus, as light of the world.
·         Afterwards people walk in procession to a sea, lake or river. The water will be blessed as part of an outdoor ceremony, and some people will take the blessed water back to their homes.


Orthodox Christmas Top Events and Things to Do[3]

·         Attend an Orthodox Christmas service.  Orthodox Christianity is popular in Greek and Slavic-language communities, including Bulgarian, Russian, Serbian, Macedonian communities.
·         Go on a fast or diet leading up to Orthodox Christmas.  Try eliminating meat and animal foods from your diet.
·         Go for dinner at the Russian or Greek Restaurant.  Many will serve specials to commemorate this holiday.


Distaff Day[4], also called Roc Day, is 7 January, the day after the traditional feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff's Day, one of the many unofficial holidays in Catholic nations. The distaff, or rock, used in spinning was the medieval symbol of women's work. In many European cultural traditions, women resumed their household work after the twelve days of Christmas. Women of all classes would spend their evenings spinning on the wheel. During the day, they would carry a drop spindle with them. Spinning was the only means of turning raw wool, cotton or flax into thread, which could then be woven into cloth. Men have their own way of celebrating this occasion; this is done through Plough Monday. It is the first Monday after Epiphany where men are supposed to get back to work. Every few years, Distaff Day and Plough Monday falls on the same day. Often the men and women would play pranks on each other during this celebration, as was written by Robert Herrick in his poem "Saint Distaff’s day, or the Morrow After Twelfth Day" which appears in his Hesperides.



St. Raymond of Penafort - Day Fourteen[5]


St. Raymond devoted much of his life to helping the poor. The famous incident which is recounted in the story of Raymond's life took place when he went with King James to Majorca. The King dismissed Raymond's request to return home. Relying on his faith and love of God, Raymond walked on the waves to his ship, spread his cloak to make a sail, made the sign of the cross then sailed to the distant harbor of Barcelona.

For St. Raymond's feast we should remember that, "caroling and storytelling belong to the whole Christmas season. Hospitality and giving to others also must continue if true Christmas joy is to remain. An outing to which friends are invited or a party that includes a round of caroling become perhaps even more appropriate with the approach of Epiphany." — Excerpted from The Twelve Days of Christmas

·         Day Fourteen activity (Legend of the Little Girl)
·         Day Fourteen recipe (Christstollen)


Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Pray for our nation.



[1]John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible
[5]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2020-01-07

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