Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Proclaim - 11th Day of Advent

Oddly, two things come to mind first with the word "proclaim".

The first doesn't use the word proclaim, but rather exemplifies it, from Luke 2:9-11:
9 And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  11 For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
 This is a public proclamation of the arrival of our Lord.  And by definition, to proclaim is to declare something publicly.

So of course, the second thing that came to mind was how Christians found one another during times when it wasn't necessarily safe to proclaim their identity.  Both the anchor and the fish symbols were common methods of visual identification for Christians during the Roman persecution.  Most scholars believe that after a time, Christians didn't have to hide, and the anchor fell into disuse to be replaced by the cross.  The anchor was based on the Greek and other "scholars ... think the anchor slipped from use because the 'symbol' was actually a word play in Greek—ankura resembling en kurio, or "in the Lord"—which disappeared as Christians chose Latin over Greek as their primary language."  This, of course, would not explain the lasting use of the Icthys or fish, which also used Greek:  "As early as the first century, Christians made an acrostic from this word: Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter, i.e. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."  This symbol would have half of it drawn by one person, and the idea was that only another Christian would know to draw the other half of the symbol.  Otherwise, someone was just considered doodling?

So today, ponder the word "proclaim".  Think of how it's been used in history and what proclamations have had the most historic significance.

Activity of the Day:  Drop off a new toy at Toys for Tots.  If you're not able to do that, take some of the gently used toys that are in good condition, to your local Goodwill or Thrift Store.  And maybe a trip to the Library to read the story of "The Velveteen Rabbit" might be in order, just to give you ideas.

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