Yule and Yeshua #AtoZChallenge

This year my A to Z challenge is about Christmas, a major festival in the Christian Church. Another major festival is Easter, which I wrote about for the A to Z Challenge in 2020.

In many countries in the northern hemisphere there has been a winter festival at the darkest season of the year. In pre-Christian Britain this was known as Yule. Christmas was introduced in December to use the midwinter festivities in a different way. The shortest day is December 21st. Christmas Day (as you probably know) is December 25th, when the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated.

The Christmas season begins on 25th December and continues until Epiphany (6th January) or Candlemas (2nd February). Epiphany is when the visit of the wise men or magi is commemorated. Candlemas moves our thoughts to the presentation of Jesus in the temple. It would seem that the historical events happened in a different order from the Church’s calendar.

A traditional food at Christmas is a chocolate cake shaped like a log. The outside is covered with butter-cream icing textured like the bark of a tree. It may be decorated with the words, ‘Season’s greetings’ and perhaps a plastic robin (the European species, which is popular on Christmas cards). It is known as a Yule log and represents the large pieces of firewood, which would have been burned at the pre-Christian feast of Yule.

The carol for this post is the Gloucestershire Wassail, a song about drinking and making merry.

As I have mentioned in earlier A to Z challenges the name by which Jesus Christ was known during his life on earth was Yeshua. Jesus is the English form of the name. My earlier posts were Yeshua and You in 2020 and Yeshua in 2017.

While this year’s A to Z badges by Anjela Curtis honour the late Jeremy Hawkins, I hope that my posts about Christmas honour Jesus Christ, ‘who was and is and is to come’. Revelation 1:4


Youth #AtoZChallenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge I have chosen a single word for each letter of the alphabet. Each of these words is important in the Bible. I am including a story in each post. Links from biblical references go to Bible Gateway.

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter Y

Youth appears in the Bible fewer than 100 times, varying with the translation searched. Youth may mean an age range towards the beginning of a person’s life or a young person (especially a young man.) Youth is used in the Bible in several places to set out a length of time – ‘from my youth until now’. It also continues into early adulthood. There are references to the wife of your youth Proverbs 5:18 and the children of one’s youth. Psalm 127:4

The word Young appears many more times, but describes animals as well as people.

Youth does not disqualify anyone from serving God Jeremiah 1:6-7 and 1 Timothy 4:12

The psalmist asks God not to remember the wrong-doings of his youth. Psalm 25:7

The Psalmist has been taught by God and trusted him from his youth. Psalm 71:5 and Psalm 71:17.

Youth is renewed like an eagle’s. Psalm 103:5

There is advice to the young Ecclesiastes 11-12

A young missionary

A young disciple, Timothy was living in Lystra, where his mother was a Jewish disciple. Paul heard about Timothy from believers in Lystra and Iconium (towns in Asia Minor) and wanted to take Timothy with him on his travels. Because Timothy’s father was Greek, Paul decided that Timothy should be circumcised. (Paul’s writings about circumcision do not seem to agree with this decision, which seemed to be to please the local Jews.)

Timothy travelled with Paul, Silas and other companions, who sometimes went ahead of or stayed behind Paul. Luke was sometimes in this group and gives some first-hand accounts in the book of the Acts of the Apostles about the events in places they visited.

After travelling with Paul and learning much from him and his companions, Timothy was sent to Macedonia with Erastus. Paul with his companions, caught up with Timothy after a riot in Ephesus, caused by people, whose livelihoods were threatened if Christianity were to replace the worship of Artemis. The companions were Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Tychicus and Trophimus – men from places Paul had visited in Macedonia and farther east. Luke’s party joined them at Troas, where a remarkable event occurred.

Paul was talking late into the night. He had a lot to say before his planned departure the following day. A young man named Eutychus was sitting in a window on the third storey. He couldn’t stay awake and fell to the ground. The fall killed him, but Paul went to him and threw his arms around him.

Then Paul announced. ‘He’s alive.’

Paul went on talking until daylight. The young man went home alive and the people were greatly encouraged.

After his adventures with Paul, Timothy became a pastor in Ephesus. He received two letters from Paul encouraging him in his ministry. The first letter was sent from Philippi and the second from Rome three years later. Paul regarded him as a son and warned him not to allow people to disregard him on account of his youth.

The stories may be found in the Acts of the Apostles Acts 16-20
Paul and Timothy wrote to the Corinthians 2 Corinthians 1:1 and the Colossians
Paul’s letters to Timothy are 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy

Timothy is mentioned:
in 1 Corinthians 4:17 Paul was sending him to Corinth
in 1 Corinthians 16:10 Paul recommends Timothy to the Corinthians
in 2 Corinthians 1:19 Paul, Silas and Timothy have preached to the Corinthians

Paul wrote with Timothy to the Philippians and hoped to send Timothy to them soon. Philippians 2:19-22

Timothy had returned from visiting Thessalonica 1 Thessalonians 3:2-6 when Paul, Silas and Timothy wrote to the Thessalonians.

Some of the information in this post was from The Amazing Collection for Women, Big Dream Ministries. 2005/2006


Y is for Yeshua and You

My posts for the A to Z Challenge this year are all about the Easter Story, recorded in 4 books of the New Testament: the Gospels. Image in sidebar links to Theme Reveal post.

Image in sidebar or below post links to Theme reveal

In these posts about the Easter story the main character is Jesus of Nazareth (Letter J). Jesus is the way that his name has been handed down in English. In the language spoken in the time and place where he lived on earth, he was probably called Yeshua. This is the same name as Joshua, meaning redeemer (Letter R).

In the post for Letter S (Salvation) I explained that although Jesus’ death and resurrection made it possible for people to be saved from their wrong-doing, salvation is not automatic. It is a gift, which is offered, but has to be received and lived out to provide any benefit.

If you have been following all these posts how do you react to the Easter story?

Have you asked Jesus (Yeshua) to be your Saviour?

If you have just found this blog for the Letter Y, please click the image in the sidebar and read my Theme reveal post with its links to the scriptures. If you are unfamiliar with the Easter story, the scripture linked in my post for the Letter X may also be helpful.