Showing posts from January, 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

'Don't stand by' is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day this year.  27 January is the day chosen for this annual commemoration because it is the anniversay of the day that the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau were liberated by the Soviet army in 1945. The purpose of the day is not only to remember the Holocaust and the Nazi persecution of Jews, but also subsequent genocides and to learn the lessons of history.

No genocide takes place in isolation. Behind every genocide is a process that create the conditions in which mass murder of particular peoples becomes possible. It starts with things like lack of respect for others, prejudice, stereotyping of groups of people, seeing those who are different as inferior or to be feared or blamed. This can progress to hate crimes - things that happen now and every single day in the UK and around the world. 

This year's HMD theme is intended to encourage us not to simply stand by and ignore what we see to be happening.

You ca…

Epiphany: 'The Fourth Wise Man'

Have you packed away your Christmas decorations or are you someone who likes to leave them until at least the end of today, the Feast of Epiphany? I took ours down this afternoon, so the house is gradually returning to its normal look.

I've posted several times in the past for today's feast on this blog. If you want to take a look you can find links on my Epiphany page

I wasn't planning to do another post today, but then I came across a story I hadn't heard before. It's about the 'Fourth Wise Man'. Traditionally there were 3 wise men, perhaps only thought of as 3 because they brought 3 expensive gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. The story of the visit of the magi (or wise men) to the child Jesus is only told in Matthew's Gospel and doesn't state a number. There could have been 2, 3, 4 or many more who sought the 'new-born king'.

In the story I came across today, the 4th wise man set out but never got to Bethlehem with the others. He arrive…

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all, whether you have just stumbled on this blog or are one of my regular readers.

There's something odd about New Year's Day.
It's a new beginning, but if you live where 1st January is a public holiday and you partied last night, then it's more like a day of recovery than a new start.

And this year it's immediately followed by a weekend so many people's new start at work won't be until Monday. If you are in Scotland the new work year start will be Tuesday as you have another Bank Holiday on Monday. Well, Hogmanay is exhausting isn't it?

What is different about today compared with yesterday?

It is only a date on a calendar, a date when we have reached approximately the same position in earth's journey round the sun as we were in this time last year. Wait a minute, doesn't that happen every day? What's new is we have to start getting used to writing 2016 not 2015 and those of us who are old wonder how the last year went so qu…