Archive for December, 2012

I confited a rabbit!

This is exciting. It is very exciting. Why? I hear you ask. Well, because I can pretend I am on Masterchef, of course! They are always making a confit of something. A confit of duck, a confit of vegetables, etc etc.

So, using my fabulous new cookbook I got for Christmas, I bought a rabbit, something I have never done before and followed Michel Roux’s recipe for rabbit confit. It was fascinating. Well, actually, it was opposite of fascinating. I just stood and watched a pan do nothing. You have to keep the temperature at 70 degrees the whole time, which is quite low. It bubbles a little at first, then it just sits there, doing nothing. image

So far as I can see, it is a more chic, French way of deep fat frying, minus the batter and bubbling. It is cooked really slowly and then preserved in the fat/oil and will last a few weeks in the fridge.

The rabbit was amazing when I used it to make a cassoulet the next day. Really soft and moist.

Last night I also made tomato confit and garlic confit and used them in my lamb and Mediterranean vegetable dish, from the same cookbook.
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I am like the confiting queen now! I will just say one thing though, I’m buying more oil every time I go to the shop and it could work out to be an expensive hobby, this confiting thing.

P.S. Danda would like me to tell you the confit joke he and I came up with…. How do you make a duck confit? Lay it down on the sofa and put a pillow under its head.

A review of Christmas

It’s been pretty nice really. Christmas morning was present opening time and I got, among other things, Michel Roux Sr’s latest cookbook, The Collection. It is one of the most beautiful cookbooks I have ever seen.
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The other life-changing present I got was a hairdryer! These things re amazing! I can go from wet hair to dry hair in a matter of minutes! I had heard good things about hairdryers and I think, once upon a time, I have owned one. But now I have one again and it is very exciting.

Christmas lunch was eaten here…
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…and was great because we just sat around blowing up balloons….
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…while the staff brought us our dinner. It was lovely and fuss free.

There was mass present opening with Yaya and the other children for a while and then we all went to a sofa filled room on the grounds of the hotel with a big TV showing Christmas films and sat around feeling full. It was lovely.

Breakfast the next morning consisted of my favourite 5 year old putting on her best make-up artist face and rubbing bubble bath into everyone’s necks and faces, telling us it was perfume.
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After we had all left and gone back home, Danda and I found an amaretti panettone in the kitchen and spent approximately twelve hours sitting on the sofa eating it, drinking cups of tea, reading books and watching TV. We didn’t even have lunch or dinner. We just picked at this panettone until we had finished it….!

All in all, a fabulous few days. How was yours?

Why I would be no good in Narnia

I definitely wouldn’t have gone that far into the wardrobe, for starters. There’s nothing Lucy likes so much as the feel of fur, we are told. So she climbs in the wardrobe and gets in among the fur coats, pushing her way further in so she can feel the furry goodness all around her. I, on the other hand, am not so passionate about fur. I might have stuck my hand or arm in for a second or two, then left. I certainly would not have physically climbed into the wardrobe.

I’m not that keen on Turkish Delight. Don’t get me wrong. Turkish Delight is fine and nice in its own way but I definitely wouldn’t have gone to the extremes that Edmund did to get some more.

I don’t say “Blast and botheration” enough. Digory, in The Magician’s Nephew says this line fairly near the start of the adventure, at a point where I would have said something like, “This sucks,” which I don’t think is child-friendly reading.

Even if I had gotten all the way into Narnia, I probably would have explained it away by saying I must have found my way outside in a freak snowstorm and never gone back.

Instead of going off to find Aslan and make friends, I probably would have concluded that lions are not the safest creatures to have as friends and stayed home, leaving everyone else to the adventures.

I don’t eat enough large spreads of bread, butter, freshly caught fish, currant buns and tea, made for me by woodland creatures. I much prefer something beautiful and dainty and, so far as I know, no-one in Narnia has been awarded a Michelin star yet. You probably can’t even get truffles.

Susan would annoy me too much. She’s always moaning.

Once inside the wardrobe and having found Narnia, I would have had to nip back to this world to get a book to read and probably would never have got back in again.

If I’d have found Aslan and he’d said I had to fight a battle against the baddies, I probably would have insisted he got the army in to do it and pottered off to the castle to wait for a text message to say they’d won.

When crowned, I would have requested that I be called Laura The Abominable Snow-woman, just for fun, which would have annoyed serious Peter and boring Susan, I think.

There aren’t enough mentions of cups of tea in Narnia.

The time I cycled to the Cotswolds

A few years ago, my family and I were having a long weekend away in a cottage in the Cotswolds and I was quite recently into cycling so decided to cycle there from London. The journey was about 150 miles and I had two days to do it. I had booked into a youth hostel two thirds of the way along and was very excited. An entire day spent on my bike. It promised to be great fun.

I set out first thing in the morning and of course forgot the snacks I had put aside the night before. So at my first snack stop, an hour or two in, I found a few sweets from a pack of Starburst, an apple and some Softmints. I had a Starburst and a Softmint and wondered if I might die of starvation on this journey.

It was November and the weather was starting to get colder, which was fine by me actually, as I warm up very quickly when cycling, so find it uncomfortable to cycle in summer and nicer in winter. One thing that wasn’t great about cycling in winter, though, was the wind. It made things unnecessarily difficult. This day, it was windy most of the time. Not enough to slow me down but enough to irritate. It was in my face and it was constant.

I took a total of three breaks that day, each shorter than the last as I had less and less left to eat. I demolished the sweets and ate the single apple, savoring every juicy bite.

As I got closer to the town where I was stopping overnight, I saw on my map that I would need to go a few miles down the road I was on then come back the same distance, around the edge of a field, like following two sides of a triangle.

“So,” thought I, “I will cut down the work here and just cross this field. It will be much quicker.”

By this time, 11 hours after first starting out, I was getting quite tired. My bum hurt, my legs ached, my arms and hands were fed up of being outstretched and longed to relax. Mentally, I was getting a bit cabin-fever-y on my bike, constantly checking my mileage, the time, my speed etc.

My quick across-country shortcut, therefore, seemed perfect. I was only a few miles away and just wanted to get there, desperately. It was really dark by this point so I used my bike light and found a path across the field. It was quite a muddy path, enclosed by two rows of hedges. As I bumped along, I was suddenly pitched forward into a little ditch and thrown off the bike. Determined, I got up and started cycling again. Thirty seconds of muddy cycling later, I was thrown off again. I screamed into the wind which, by now, had become loud and fierce. I mounted the bike again, ready for a fight. This time, I didn’t fall into a ditch. Instead, the two rows of hedges ended and I was suddenly out on open field. No longer sheltered, the force of the wind hitting me knocked me off my bike again.

“FUCKING WIND!” I screamed, like a madwoman. “FUCK OFF!”

If anyone had been out walking their dog that evening, they must have thought there was a lunatic walking around.

I started to worry that I would be eternally lost in these fields. They went on far longer than I had expected and I couldn’t see any sign of the road on the other side. It was dark and windy and I was lost and alone, wandering the moors like Cathy looking for Heathcliffe.

Eventually, bumping my way across the fields, I saw a glint of a car light and headed straight for it, my heart pounding. As I emerged from the fields and onto the road, I saw a hill to my right and headed straight down it. According to my map, my youth hostel was down a road off this main one and I would be there in just a few minutes.

Off I went, down the hill, gliding and enjoying not having to cycle. I got to the bottom, looked around and realised I couldn’t see the road I was looking for. I knocked on the door of a nearby house to ask for directions and yes, you guessed it, it was back at the top of the hill, directly opposite, in fact, the path I had come out of the fields on.

So up the hill I went, found the road and, ten seconds along the way, was my home for the evening. I dismounted, at long last, locked the bike up and entered the reception area. By this point, I was ravenous, dirty, exhausted and aching. I was greeted with the news that dinner had stopped 15 minutes ago and no, there was nowhere else to get food unless I wanted to go down that hill again. After some grovelling and begging, they agreed to throw something together for me and I scurried off to change out of my cycling gear.

And that’s when I discovered the windburn. It was everywhere, my shins were especially bad as it meant I couldn’t sleep unless I had them out of the blankets which, in winter, isn’t the nicest thing. As I ate, I found I had windburn on the roof of my mouth and couldn’t quite swallow properly because of it. It was on my knuckles and face and tingled like crazy when touched.

So after my thrown-together dinner of tuna, pasta and vegetables, I sat reading a book, making sure none of my windburn was touching anything. It was very awkward!

The next day, apart from adding 8 miles on by cycling in the wrong direction for a bit, I had a relatively newsless journey, arriving at the cottage in the afternoon.

It was a good thing to have done but, honestly, I’ll think twice before I do it again…!

Things I love

Narnia

Branston Pickle

Jumpers with animals on them

Swimming in the sea

Mountain trekking in foreign lands

Iced peach tea

Cooking for friends

Anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Making a good coffee

Peppermint tea

The nice feeling after you’ve cleaned the house

Vanilla yoghurt

Walking in London

A long journey on a train or a bus

Finishing a book and deciding which one to read next

Listening to an audiobook while walking to the swimming pool

Yoga

Homeland

The first day of snow

A pile of freshly washed clothes

Anything containing truffle, especially truffle butter

Panettone

Family Guy

Possible Downton Abbey spinoff shows

Downton Crabby
In which all the grumpiest characters get together and moan about the English weather and the state of the country and how it’s ‘going to the dogs.’

Downton Flabby
In which everyone admits that they have let themselves go a bit and they pair up to compete in a kind of Biggest Loser competition, with Cousin Violet being the Davina McCall type presenter. Mr Bates and Anna would be the personal trainers. My money would be on Mrs Pattmore to win.

Downton Snobby
In which Mary critiques members of the plebian masses and explains why she doesn’t like them. Kind of like a What Not To Wear type programme.

Downton Tabby
In which all the characters are played by cats instead of humans.

Downton Shabby
In which a swarm of moths attack the wardrobes at Downton Abbey and lay their eggs inside the fancy dresses. Cousin Violet has to patch up her dresses with old curtains to avoid showing her bum cheek at dinner.

Downton Cabby
In which they fall on hard times so pool together to buy a second hand taxi and each do shifts waiting on the rank down at the train station.

Downton Abe
In which everyone decides to convert to Judaism as they’ve heard the food is great and they’re ravenous after their stint on Downton Flabby.

Downton Jabby
In which they all go down to the hospital to get their flu jabs done.

Downton Nappy
In which all the characters are played by babies who talk gibberish, snatch the toys from each and cry for their mums. Biting is their main form of communication.

How well do you know the Christmas story?

Ok, I’m handing over to my guest blogger this morning for a little bit of Christmas trivia! Enjoy!

 

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE CHRISTMAS STORY?

 

I thought you might like a quiz for this Christmas time. It will test your knowledge and may actually provide some information you didn’t know. I wonder if you’d get your pen/pencil & paper out and try the questions as you read them rather than going straight to the answers. What about trying them with the family after that Christmas meal?

 

1. Where was Joseph born?

a) Bethlehem

b) Jerusalem

c) Nazareth

d) Egypt

e) None of the above

 

2. Mary & Joseph were both spoken to by angelic beings before the birth of Jesus. Which angels or archangels spoke to them?

a) The Archangel Michael to both

b) The angel Gabriel to both

c) Archangel Michael to Mary & the angel Gabriel to Joseph

d) The angel Gabriel to Mary & the archangel Michael to Joseph

e) None of the above

 

3. How did Mary & Joseph travel to Bethlehem?

a) By camel

b) By donkey

c) By walking

d) Joseph walked, Mary rode on a donkey

e) No-one knows

 

4. Mary & Joseph were married when Mary became pregnant (True or False)

 

5. Mary & Joseph were married when Jesus was born (True or False)

 

6. Mary was a virgin when she delivered Jesus (True or False)

 

7. What did the innkeeper tell Mary & Joseph?

a) “There is no room at the inn”

b) “I have a stable you can use”

c) “There may be a room later if you come back”

d) Both a) & b)

e) None of the above

 

8. What is a manger?

a) A stable for domestic animals

b) A wooden hay storage bin

c) A feeding trough

d) A barn

e) None of the above

 

9. Which animals does the bible say were present at Jesus’ birth?

a) Cows, Sheep, Goats

b) Cows, Sheep, Donkeys

c) Sheep & Goats only

d)Miscellaneous farm animals

e) None of the above

 

10. Who does the Bible say saw the “star in the east”?

a) Shepherds

b) Mary & Joseph

c) The three kings

d) Both a) & c)

e) None of the above

 

11. How many angels spoke to the shepherds?

a) One

b) Three

c) A “multitude”

d) a) and c)

e) None of the above

 

12. What sign were the shepherds told to look for when they went to Bethlehem?

a) A star over Bethlehem

b) A stable

c) A baby in a stable

d) A stable where the animals had been put outside because Mary had given birth inside

e) None of the above

 

13. What is Frankincense?

a) A precious metal

b) A precious fabric

c) A precious perfume

d) A spice used in the anointing of the dead

e) None of the above

 

14. What is Myrrh?

a) An easily shaped metal

b) A spice used in the anointing of the dead

c) A precious perfume

d) A medicine

e) None of the above

 

15. How many kings or wise men were there who came to worship the baby Jesus?

a) Three Kings

b) Three wise men

c) An unknown number of kings

d) An unknown number of wise men.

e) None of the above

 

OK that’s the lot. How do you think you did?

 

Now for the answers. Where possible I will be using what I believe to be the authoritative source – the Bible text itself. Some answers have to come from other sources because the Bible doesn’t explain their meaning. I know you might have ideas from your upbringing, parents, school, friends & even other books etc but I think it’s important to have a reference point. Just like you might say look in an encyclopaedia for information and would trust it I’m going to do the same with these answers and, as far as possible, use the same source in each case to provide consistency. If you go down the route of “He said, she said, they said..” there will be many different answers and views on what is right or wrong.

Although, as you will know, there are four Gospels in the New Testament only Matthew & Luke have information on the events leading up to the birth of Jesus so all the proof texts will be from these two Gospels.

 

Right off we go:

 

1. Joseph was from (as in born in):

a) Bethlehem

b) Jerusalem

c) Nazareth

d) Egypt

e) None of the above

 

Answer: a) Bethlehem. Or e) None of the above

Reason. There is some dispute over how to interpret the verses here. Some believe it was actually Bethlehem, some believe according to Jewish custom, only that it was Joseph’s ancestral home and that he could have been born elsewhere in the area belonging to the tribe of Judah. As this is the first question & in the interests of fairness I’m allowing either a) or e). In Luke 2:3-5 we read:So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.”

Joseph had been living and working in Nazareth where Mary, betrothed to be his wife, also lived. He had to return to his “own city” as it says because of the decree by Caesar Augustus that there was to be a census. “Own city” could mean place of birth or place where his ancestors were born.

2. Mary & Joseph were both spoken to by angelic beings before the birth of Jesus. Which angels or archangels spoke to them?

a) The Archangel Michael to both

b) The angel Gabriel to both

c) Archangel Michael to Mary & the angel Gabriel to Joseph

d) The angel Gabriel to Mary & the archangel Michael to Joseph

e) None of the above

Answer: In this case it’s e) None of the above

Reason – Luke 1:26-27 says:26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.”

And of the visit to Joseph we read in Matthew 1:26: 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

So it was the angel Gabriel to Mary & just “an angel” to Joseph therefore answer e) is correct.

3. How did Mary & Joseph travel to Bethlehem?

a) By camel

b) By donkey

c) By walking

d) Joseph walked, Mary rode on a donkey

e) No-one knows

Answer c) By walking

Reason. In Luke 2:4-5 we read: Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.”

If you read it carefully no animal is mentioned at all. The only words we have are “went up”. As there was no other form of transport back then they must have walked. The familiar pictures showing Mary riding on a donkey are not based on anything in the Bible account. That is purely an assumption about what might have happened; and it might have, all I’m saying is we don’t know for sure.

4. Mary & Joseph were married when Mary became pregnant (True or False)

 

Answer: False. They were betrothed but the usual custom in those days was that they would not live together or have physical relations until after there had been an official marriage ceremony.

 

Reason. In Matthew 1:18 we read:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.”

 

5. Mary & Joseph were married when Jesus was born (True or False)

 

Answer: True

Reason. It says in Matthew 1:2020 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

And then later on in Matthew 1:24-2524 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.”

So he then lived with Mary as his wife but they did not have “sexual relations” until after Jesus was born, so they were married before the baby was born.

6. Mary was a virgin when she delivered Jesus (True or False)

 

Answer: True

Reason. Again in Matthew 1 it says these words in v22-2322 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

To summarise then the events leading up to Jesus’ birth happened this way: Betrothal, Pregnancy, Marriage, Birth.

 

7. What did the innkeeper tell Mary & Joseph?

a) “There is no room at the inn”

b) “I have a stable you can use”

c) “There may be a room later if you come back”

d) Both a) & b)

e) None of the above

 

Answer: e) None of the above

 

Reason. The innkeeper is not mentioned in the Biblical account. Only Luke has any info. Luke 2:7 says, And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”This is the only reference to an inn but does not say anything about an innkeeper. Therefore the answer has to be e)

 

8. What is a manger?

a) A stable for domestic animals

b) A wooden hay storage container

c) A feeding trough

d) A barn

e) None of the above

 

Answer c) This one is just a straightforward dictionary definition.

 

By the way, just as the innkeeper is not mentioned in the account of Jesus birth neither is a stable. People have reasoned from there being a manger to the most likely place to find a manger being a stable but it doesn’t necessarily follow. Whatever the building was where Jesus was born there is nothing to say it belonged to the inn or innkeeper. The only things mentioned are in Luke 2 and verse 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Of course you can speculate as to in what sort of building the birth took place – other suggestions include a cave or a grotto – but there is nothing definitive mentioned in the Bible.

 

9. Which animals does the bible say were present at Jesus’ birth?

a) Cows, Sheep, Goats

b) Cows, Sheep, Donkeys

c) Sheep & Goats only

d)Miscellaneous farm animals

e) None of the above

 

Answer e). None of the above

 

Reason. Again, as above, the Bible mentions only that Jesus was wrapped in “swaddling cloths” and was “laid in a manger.” Absolutely no animals are mentioned.

 

10. Who does the Bible say saw the “star in the east”?

a) Shepherds

b) Mary & Joseph

c) The three kings

d) Both a) & c)

e) None of the above

 

Answer e).

Reason. The Bible simply says in Matthew 2:1 2Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,”

Note no mention of kings or how many wise men. Just because three gifts were brought doesn’t mean there must have been three wise men. Think of you taking Christmas presents to another family and say there are 4 of them and only two of you. You could then write that that family received the gifts of presents 1,2,3 & 4 but you couldn’t imply there were 4 people giving them if you see what I mean. It’s not to say that there weren’t three wise men, there could have been, but it’s just we don’t know.

 

11. How many angels spoke to the shepherds?

a) One

b) Three

c) A “multitude” of the heavenly host

d) a) and c)

e) None of the above

 

Answer d).

Reason. Here’s the text of Luke 2:8-13. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

In the first instance there was just one angel speaking to the shepherds. He gives them the info they need to find the baby Jesus but then he is joined by a “multitude” praising God.

 

12. What sign were the shepherds told to look for when they went to Bethlehem?

a) A star over Bethlehem

b) A stable

c) A baby in a stable

d) A stable where the animals had been put outside because Mary had given birth inside

e) None of the above

 

Answer e) None of the above

 

Reason. Remember that the Bible never mentions a stable (so that’s b), c) & d) out) and the star was the sign given to the wise men from the East. The text has already been given in the previous answer and verse 12. Here it is 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13. What is Frankincense?

a) A precious metal

b) A precious fabric

c) A precious perfume

d) A spice used in the anointing of the dead

e) None of the above

 

Answer: c) A precious perfume

Reason. This one is a definition from the dictionary/encyclopaedia as it starts off as a gum-resin which is made into incense and therefore becomes a perfume. I suppose strictly speaking you could allow e) because of its raw state but the common usage is as a perfume.

 

14. What is Myrrh?

a) An easily shaped metal

b) A spice used in the anointing of the dead

c) A precious perfume

d) A medicine

e) None of the above

 

Answer b) A spice used in the anointing of the dead

Reason. Common usage in biblical times. Interestingly though it’s mentioned in three different settings in the Bible.

First Matthew 2:11 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Second, when Jesus was actually being crucified on the cross we read this in Mark 15:20-23: 20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.

21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. 22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.”

Third, in the burial process before laying the body in the tomb, in John 19:38-40 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.”

15. How many kings or wise men were there who came to worship the baby Jesus?

a) Three Kings

b) Three wise men

c) An unknown number of kings

d) An unknown number of wise men.

e) None of the above

 

Answer d). An unknown number of wise men

Reason. We read in Matthew 2:1 2Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,”

No mention of how many wise men there were.

 

Well I hope you enjoyed the quiz. Also hope not too many arguments started.

Ok so how did you do? I think there were probably a few surprises in there, things you weren’t expecting. It just goes to show how much of the Christmas story has been added to from the actual account written down. I, like many of you, was taught all the traditional stuff about the story: 3 kings (singing “We three kings of orient are”), about a stable which isn’t mentioned and about animals in the stable that isn’t mentioned and so on. I also, as you probably did, attended my childrens’ school nativity version but we have to remember that’s not what actually happened. We also tend to get shepherds and wise men in the same scene but they weren’t there at the same time. The shepherds came immediately after the birth; when the wise men came they didn’t come to the same place as the shepherds because it was some months later and possibly up to 2 years. We know this because King Herod had all the baby boys of 2 years old and under killed. He’d decided on this age after speaking to the wise men and working out how long ago they’d first seen the star which would have been the date of Jesus’ birth.

The Bible says in Matthew 2:9-11When they heard the king (that is Herod), they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

Note also that, the wise men came into a house not a stable or other outbuilding and it doesn’t say Jesus was in manger when they came and presented their gifts to Him?

Honestly, perhaps it’s time we all concentrated actually on who Jesus was (and is) and what He came to do (and did and is still doing) rather than just the Christmas story once a year but it’s a trap all of us can easily fall into.

Could I, in closing say, that the views represented here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the blog host. Thanks to LLM for this Christmas Day post and could I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.