A Decree Went Out From the Emperor Augustus that All the World Was to be Taxed.

The coming of Jesus the Son of God, born of Mary is not just a free floating myth although certainly it is a story of mythological meaning. It is rooted in a particular time and place — the reign of Augustus Caesar. The art below celebrates this and remarks on the optimum moment of almost universal peace (at least in the Mediterranean World) that the Roman Empire produced particularly under the leadership of the restrained Octavian or Augustus as he came to be known.

This anchoring in history of the incarnation with it’s universal claims on humanity  produce what is known as the “scandal of particularity” — how could the life/death/resurrection of one man at one point in time have universal effect on all people at all points in all times?  It strains credulity. And yet it is at the core of the Good News of God in Christ.

A Good Time Was Had By All!

It is good to sit in front of the first winter fire in Memphis on Christmas afternoon and relax. Christmas Eve is a lot of fun with crowds of children and the excitement at 4:30 Eucharist — the homily with sixty kids sitting around me on the steps is a bit like driving without brakes in that you never know where you may wind  up but we arrived with no heresy, some laughter and a bit of joy!  Midnight Mass was smells and bells, brass and choirs followed by kilted men and ladies in festive attire in the library for a wee dram of scotch in honor of the wee one.  In bed by two am.  Not bad.