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Caesars Decree Repeats<O:P</O:P Many parents will remember learning about the census when they were in school

in 1 !" or 1 "# $his year% chil&ren at e'ery gra&e le'el will be stu&ying the census in their social stu&ies% go'ernment% geography% an& math classes( )ts a per*ect opportunity *or Christian parents to +tie in, the li*e o* -esus Christ to enrich their chil&rens +practical, e&ucation(<O:P</O:P . Crash Course in Census /"""<O:P</O:P 0eginning in -anuary /"""% the 12 Census 0ureau will begin its house3to3 house can'assing o* sparsely3populate& areas 4inclu&ing rural .las5a#6 to con*irm a&&resses it recei'e& *rom the 12 Postal 2er'ice( 0y mi&3-uly% e'ery househol& in the 1nite& 2tates an& its territories will recei'e a census *orm to *ill out an& return( $he bureau will publici7e the census through &irect mail% pai& a&'ertising on $8 an& ra&io% an& hun&re&s o* special e'ents in schools an& community centers% encouraging e'eryone to participate( 9et rea&y *or a me&ia blit7# <O:P</O:P )n the 1nite& 2tates% a census is ta5en once e'ery &eca&e% as re:uire& by .rticle )% 2ection ;% o* the 12 Constitution( Census &ata are use& to +&raw up, the 'oting &istricts *or the <ouse o* Representati'es an& our state an& local legislatures( $he &ata collecte& are also use& to allocate *e&eral money *or the buil&ing o* schools% hospitals% an& in*rastructure 4highways% water treatment plants% power plants% etc(6 in *act% at least =1!/ billion will be &istribute& *or each o* the ne>t ten years base& on Census /"""#<O:P</O:P $wo &i**erent census *orms will be &istribute& beginning in March /""": a short *orm an& a long or +sampling, *orm( 0oth *orms gather the names% gen&ers% an& ages o* each member o* the househol&% their racial bac5groun& an& <ispanic origin 4that is% whether on not they are 2panish3spea5ing6% an& how long they ha'e li'e& at their current a&&ress( $he +sampling, *orm also as5s about marital status% place o* birth% employment status% income% e&ucational bac5groun&% ser'ice history in the arme& *orces% language4s6 spo5en at home% as well as in*ormation about the home itsel*: <ow many rooms? @hat type o* heating? <ow many bathrooms?<O:P</O:P $he census *orms an& instructions will be a'ailable in A" &i**erent languages% inclu&ing .lbanian% .rabic% .rmenian% 9ree5% <ungarian% Romanian% Russian% 2erbian% 2lo'a5% an& 15rainian(<O:P</O:P $he biggest contro'ersy surroun&ing Census /""" sure to be &iscusse& at the mi&&le3 an& high3school le'el has been the &ebate o'er the use o* +statistical sampling, an& the impact estimate& counts coul& ha'e on the party3leanings o* the 'oting &istricts( $he 2upreme Court uphel& section 1 A% title 1; o* the 1nite& 2tates Co&e prohibiting the use o* statistical sampling *or congressional apportionment on /A -anuary 1 % against a proposal by Presi&ent 0ill Clinton(<O:P</O:P .&&itional resources *or Census /"""% inclu&ing &ownloa&able census *orms 4both short an& long% in A" languages6% historical &ata% an& B.C sheets% are a'ailable at http://www(census(go'<O:P</O:P -oseph an& Mary 9o to 0ethlehem<O:P</O:P @hen the bureaucracy o* the Roman Dmpire too5 a census% it re:uire& people to tra'el to their *amilys +home city, to register% so no one woul& be misse& or counte& twice(<O:P</O:P 2t( -oseph the 0etrothe& was &escen&e& *rom the house o* Da'i& 4see his lineage in Matthew 1:131E6% so he an& his *amily were re:uire& to tra'el some F" miles *rom their resi&ence in Ga7areth to 0ethlehem to register( $he city o* 0ethlehem% si> miles south o* -erusalem% was the birthplace o* 5ing Da'i&% an& the home o* Ruth an& 0oa7(<O:P</O:P <ere is the story *rom the 9ospel:<O:P</O:P .n& it came to pass in those &ays that a &ecree went out *rom Caesar .ugustus that all the worl& shoul& be registere&( $his census *irst too5 place while Cuirinius was go'erning 2yria(H 2o all went to be registere&% e'eryone to his own city(<O:P</O:P -oseph also went up *rom 9alilee% out o* the city o* Ga7areth% into -u&ea% to the city o* Da'i&% which is calle& 0ethlehem% because he was o* the house an& lineage o* Da'i&% to be registere& with Mary% his betrothe& wi*e% who was with Chil&( 4Iu5e /:13A6<O:P</O:P )t was &uring this trip that Mary ga'e birth to our Ior& an& 2a'ior( On the e'e o* the Gati'ity% the Church remembers Caesars census as it sings:<O:P</O:P @hen Mary concei'e& see&lessly% she was registere& in 0ethlehem with the el&er -oseph as being o* the see& o* Da'i&( $he time *or birth came% an& there was no room in the innJ the ca'e pro'e& a *air place *or the Cueen( Christ is born to raise up the image that o* ol& ha& *allen# $roparion 4$one K6<O:P</O:P HCuirinius was 5nown to ha'e go'erne& the Roman pro'ince o* 2yria3Cilicia *rom E3 .D( 0iblical historians belie'e that 2t( Iu5e was re*erring to an earlier term o* Cuirinius% since the e'angelist has +otherwise pro'e& a most reliable historian(, 4Der&mans <an&boo5 to the 0ible% p( A1E6<O:P</O:P 2ome $hings to Do<O:P</O:P Rea& the story o* the Gati'ity o* our Ior& -esus Christ this year *rom the 9ospel o* Iu5e 4chapter /6% being sure to emphasi7e why -oseph an& Mary were in 0ethlehem( $his is the +set up,#<O:P</O:P Ioo5 *or opportunities to remin& your chil&ren o* Caesars census while re'iewing social stu&ies homewor5 about Census /"""% watching the e'ening news% etc( Discuss the *ollowing :uestions: @hat type o* in*ormation is gathere& in a census? @hy &i& the *oun&ing *athers man&ate regular censuses in .merica? @hy &i& the Roman Dmpire or&er a census o* 2yria?<O:P</O:P $a5e a census or in'entory o* your own: count &olls or beanie babies% neighborhoo& pets% or youth3group peers( $hen &iscuss the *ollowing :uestions: )s it easier to count when all the +people, youre counting are in a pre&ictable place? @hat happens i* someone mo'es aroun& while youre counting? @hy were the resi&ents o* 2yria or&ere& to go to their +home city,?<O:P</O:P

@hen your *amilys census *orm arri'es in the mail 4as early as March6% ma5e two photocopiesL then ma5e it a *amily proMect to *ill it out once *or NO1R *amily% an& once *or 2t( -osephs# by Gichola $o&a Orause <O:P</O:PP 1 3/""" by Ortho&o> Bamily Ii*e an& the original author4s6( 1RI: http://www(theologic(com/o*lweb( $his web site is &onate& an& maintaine& by $heoIogic 2ystems% which pro'i&es so*tware an& in*ormation tools *or Ortho&o> Christians an& parishes worl& wi&e( 3333333333333333 @hats luc5 got to &o with it?<O:P</O:P by Br( -ohn $ouloumes<O:P</O:P @hat ma5es a rabbits *oot so +luc5y?, @hy is *in&ing a *our3lea* clo'er a goo& thing? @hy will goo& Q*ortune be with you i* you get the largest hal* o* the wishbone? $o put it simply% all these i&eas ha'e sur'i'e& *rom pre3Christian times because people choose to belie'e in them( $hough they are no more legitimate or power*ul than the i&ols the Ior& con&emne& in ancient )srael% many people inclu&ing Christians continue to in'est their hope in chance% *ortune% an& luc5(<O:P</O:P Many otherwise *aith*ul Christians probably &o not see their lottery tic5ets% 5noc5ing on woo& or *ear o* +the e'il eye, as a &enial o* Baith( $hey o*ten thin5 &enying the Baith means an outright 'erbal reMection o* Christ something most Christians woul& hope*ully re*use to &o( )* we% as belie'ers% were a bit more sensiti'e about our the e**ects o* our &aily con'ersations% actions% an& attitu&es% howe'er% we might *in& there are 'arious subtle ways in which we still manage to cross that line o* pure Baith( .lthough we woul&nt &ream o* wishing someone lea'ing on a Mourney% +May -upiter go with you#%, as &i& the ancient Romans% it is not unusual to hear an e>pression li5e% +9oo& luc5 on your trip#, @hile we shoul& certainly accept the goo& wishes o* *rien&s intereste& in our well3being% the :uestion we shoul& as5 oursel'es is% +@hats luc5 got to &o with it?, Does Q*ate or Qluc5 &etermine the outcome o* my trip% or is it the 9o& o* hea'en an& earth% to @hom we proclaim% +Nou alone% O Ior&% ma5e me &well in sa*ety, 4Psalm K:!6? @hy not sen& someone o** with the prayer% +May 9o& be with you%, or% +May 9o& grant you sa*e tra'els#, instea&?<O:P</O:P )n most cases% e>pressions an& practices regar&ing the i&ea o* luc5 are not inten&e& as &ogmatic con*essions% but rather habits we ha'e come to use in e'ery&ay li*e or social an& cultural belie*s which surroun& us( @hy &o these things persist in a Christian worl& an& an intellectual age?<O:P</O:P .ccor&ing to one researcher% +$o&ay% there seems to be no logical reason why a wishbone symboli7es goo& luc5 while a bro5en mirror *oretells the opposite% but in earlier times e'ery superstition ha& a purpose*ul origin% a cultural bac5groun&% an& a practical e>planation( @e ma5e the or&inary e>traor&inary( )n *act% theres scarcely a thing in our en'ironment aroun& which some culture has not wo'en a superstitious claim: mistletoe% garlic% apples% horseshoes% umbrellas% hiccups% stumbling% crosse& *ingers(,<O:P</O:P )n what is% perhaps% the newest an& most wi&e3sprea& o* such practices% the )nternet has ta5en the ol& superstition o* the +chain letter, an& spawne& a whole new bree& o* +electronic chain letters, an& other such *oreign practices(<O:P</O:P )n or&er to get a goo& han&le on how to &eal with these issues as Ortho&o> Christians% there are three areas we can consult: the <oly 2criptures% the writings o* the holy Bathers% an& the ser'ices o* our Church(<O:P</O:P $he 0ible has :uite a bit to say about practices% which &i'ert us *rom a complete an& unswer'ing *aith in the &i'ine authority an& e'er3presence o* our 9o&( )n the 0oo5 o* D7e5iel% 9o& re'eals <is &isgust at the un*aith*ul practices o* <is people an& e'en <is priests% a*ter which D7e5iel returns to the people proclaiming% +@oe to the women who sew magic ban&s upon all wrists% an& ma5e 'eils *or the hea&s o* persons o* e'ery stature(, $he ungo&ly belie*s *oun& in these practices were &enounce&( Iater% though e'en in the Gew $estament era a*ter the &eath% Resurrection% an& .scension o* our Ior& an& 2a'ior -esus Christ some Christians still persiste& in superstitions an& alternate belie*s( 2t( Paul warne& $imothy o* this by saying% +<a'e nothing to &o with go&less an& silly myths( $rain yoursel* in go&liness(, 41 $imothy K:F6<O:P</O:P $he Bathers are not silent on these matters% either( )n <omily 8)) on the Ietter to the Colossians% 2t( -ohn Chrysostom challenges these practices using the scenario o* a mother &ealing with a sic5 chil&( 1n&er no circumstances% he says% shoul& she turn to magic% charms% or any *orm o* *oreign belie*: +.re you one o* the *aith*ul? Ma5e the sign the Cross# 2ay% Q$his ) ha'e *or my only weaponJ this *or my reme&yJ an& Ro*S others ) 5now none(,<O:P</O:P +$ell me%, he continues% +i* a physician shoul& come to you% an&% neglecting the reme&ies belonging to his art% shoul& use incantation% shoul& we call that man a physician? 0y no means% *or here we &o not see the me&icines o* the healing art(, Geither% he conclu&es% &o we see the healing power o* the Christian *aith when other belie*s are employe&(<O:P</O:P 2t( 0asil% in his <omily Concerning Dn'y relegates the i&ea o* +the e'il eye, to its proper place by saying% +2ome thin5 that en'ious persons bring ba& luc5 merely by a glance% so that healthy persons in the *ull *lower an& 'igor o* their prime are ma&e to pine away un&er their spellL ( Bor my part% ) reMect these tales as popular *ancies an& ol& wi'es gossip(, .lso% in the same saints <omily on Psalm KA% he chastens those Christians who% in times o* illness% run to enchanters or use suppose&ly magical symbols because o* their &i'i&e& witness: +)n e'ery nee& you contra&ict yoursel* in wor& you name 9o& as your re*ugeJ but in act you &raw on ai& *rom useless an& 'ain things( 9o& is the true ai& *or the righteous man(, Chapter / o* the $eaching o* the $wel'e .postles states% +Nou shall not practice magic( Nou shall not practice sorcery(, .n& in his Ietter to the Dphesians% 2t( )gnatius o* .ntioch places all other powers in proper perspecti'e when he proclaims% +.ll magic was &issol'e&% e'ery bon& o* malice &isappeare&% ignorance was &estroye&% the ancient 5ing&om

was ruine&% when 9o& appeare& in the *orm o* man to gi'e us newness o* eternal li*e(,<O:P</O:P )n the priests 2er'ice 0oo5% 'arious prayers can be *oun& which place all such a&'erse powers in their proper prospecti'e: un&er the &ominion o* the Ior& 9o&( )n the baptismal ser'ice% the priest ma5es the sign o* the Cross in the water an& proclaims% +Iet all a&'erse powers be crushe& beneath the ma5ing o* the sign o* Nour most precious Cross(, $he Church has e'en maintaine& a prayer against +the e'il eye%, which prays o'er the person:<O:P</O:P O% Ior&% @ho lo'es man5in&% stretch out Nour mighty han& an& watch o'er him RherS% an& sen& him RherS an angel o* peace% a might guar&ian o* soul an& bo&y% who will rebu5e an& banish *rom him RherS e'ery wic5e& intention(<O:P</O:P 2ome woul& as5% +@hy &oes such a prayer e>ist i* such a&'erse in*luences ha'e been &e*eate&?, $he answer lies in the compassion the Church has *or those who are wea5ene& in their out o* *ear o* such oppression(<O:P</O:P Putting this all into perspecti'e% Metropolitan .nthony Ohrapo'its5y poses this :uestion in his boo5% On Con*ession: +)* you are incline& to &istrust Christ an& the .postles% why &o trust the 'arious *ables? .n& so li*t up your ga7e to hea'en% &o not neglect thin5ing o* your Re&eemer% &o not li'e estrange& *rom <im% &o not gi'e yoursel* o'er to superstitions an& Qol& wi'es tales(, @hen we are strengthene& in Christ to belie'e% li'e% an& pray with the attitu&e that <e alone is in&ee& our li*e% our hope an& our sal'ation% there will in&ee& be no nee& *or luc5% *ortune% *ate or any other power( $his is what the scripture% the *athers an& our ser'ices a**irm( )t is only then that we will be able to truly practice the comman& o* 2t( Paul% +Do not be con*orme& to this worl& but be trans*orme& by the renewal o* your min&% that you may pro'e what is the will o* 9o&% what is goo& an& acceptable an& per*ect(, 4Romans 1/:/6<O:P</O:P $han5s to Re'(Br( -ohn $ouloumes% proistamenos o* <oly $rinity 9ree5 Ortho&o> Church in Pittsburgh% Pa(% *or this won&er*ul article# <O:P</O:P P1 3/""" by Ortho&o> Bamily Ii*e an& the original author4s6( 1RI: http://www(theologic(com/o*lweb( $his web site is &onate& an& maintaine& by $heoIogic 2ystems% which pro'i&es so*tware an& in*ormation tools *or Ortho&o> Christians an& parishes worl& wi&e( 333333333333333333333333333333333333 2tarting Point: Debun5ing the <oroscope Myth @hen chil&ren open the 2un&ay newspaper% accor&ing to a recent newspaper in&ustry sur'ey% the *irst 4an& usually only6 section they rea& is the +*unny pages,( .mong all other &emographic groups% the &aily horoscope section is the most *aith*ully rea&( @hy are horoscopes so popular? Change is ne'er easy% an& e'en the possibility o* 5nowing what will happen tomorrow is 'ery alluring# 0ut are horoscopes the place *or Ortho&o> Christians to turn? Go# Many people throughout history ha'e belie'e& that the e'ents o* their li'es were &etermine& by or re*lecte& in the mo'ement o* the stars an& planets in the hea'ens( $hey thought that by stu&ying the hea'ens at the time o* a chil&s birth an& throughout his li*e% his entire *uture his social stan&ing% occupation% material worth% etc( coul& be accurately *oretol&( $his pseu&o3science is calle& astrology% an& it was a 'ital part o* the cultures o* the ancient Dgyptians% Romans% Chinese% an& Gati'e .mericans% to name Must a *ew( $he *ame& 9aius -ulius Caesar% 1""3KK 0C% e'en hel& the o**ice o* Ponti*e> Ma>imus 4high priest6 &uring his li*e% an& was responsible *or rea&ing the auspices at important e'ents *or the Roman Dmpire% li5e the installation the newly3electe& consuls each year( One o* the things that set the -ewish people apart *rom the pagan nations aroun& them inclu&ing the Dgyptians an& Romans was their belie* in only one 9o&% the Creator o* all( .s the Ol& $estament recor&s% the -ews got into trouble whene'er they +*orgot, their 9o&% an& listene& to the pre&ictions o* the pagan go&s priests an& augers( 1ltimately% they e'en worshippe& these *alse go&s% because they tol& them what they wante& to hear most 4see -eremiah 1K:1131E6# Our Ior& -esus Christ taught <is *ollowers to &istinguish true prophecy 4that is% pre&ictions ma&e by men commissione& by 9o& <imsel* to spea56 *rom *alse prophecy% such as astrology: 0eware o* *alse prophets% who come to you in sheeps clothing% but inwar&ly they are ra'enous wol'es( Nou will 5now them by their *ruits( Do men gather grapes *rom thornbushes or *igs *rom thistles? D'en so% e'ery goo& tree bears goo& *ruit% but a ba& tree bears ba& *ruit( . goo& tree cannot bear ba& *ruit% nor can a ba& tree bear goo& *ruit( D'ery tree that &oes not bear goo& *ruit is cut &own an& thrown into the *ire( $here*ore by their *ruits you will 5now them( 4Matthew F:1A3 /"6 )* pre&ictions *rom one source come true again an& again% <e says% the source o* the pre&ictions is ultimately the all3 5nowing 9o& these are the +goo& *ruit,( )* the pre&ictions *ail% the source is not 9o& an& the pre&ictions are +ba& *ruit,# 0ut our Ior& inclu&es a warning% too# Balse prophecy is enticing% because it o*ten says what we wea5 an& sin*ul humans want to hear: our &aily horoscope promises us that we will be success*ul% come into a huge amount o* money% or *in& true *rien&ship or romance to&ay( .t the worst% this type o* prophecy loo5s li5e a harmless &i'ersion or amusement: +@ill the pre&ictions come true? Iets see#, 0ut our Ior& points out that the lure o* *alse prophecy is &estructi'e% wol*ish( Balse prophecy ta5es our *ocus away *rom 9o&% the all3power*ul Creator% an& the choices we must ma5e care*ully e'ery &ay i* we want to come closer to <is 5ing&om( .ccor&ing to Br( 2tanley <ara5as% when we pay attention to horoscopes% palm rea&ings% tea lea'es% an& the li5e% we &eny

both the Oingship o* 9o& an& the *act that <e create& each o* us in <is image complete with the *ree will to accept or reMect <im by choosing to &o right or &o wrong( <e &i& not create us to be 'ictims o* the stars( .strology +is a &enial the *un&amental truths o* the Christian BaithL Ran&S o* the Christ3li5e way o* li'ing something to be reMecte& as un3 Christian#, Nou can help your teens &ebun5 the horoscope myth with the *ollowing wee53long acti'ity: 2upplies<O:P</O:P a pac5 o* o'ersi7e& in&e> car&s your &aily newspapers horoscope column *or se'en consecuti'e &ays 4or printe& 'ersions *rom the internet6 glue or tape <O:P$eens -ob</O:P Dont loo5 at your horoscope at all this wee5( Noure going to 5eep a Mournal instea&% to see i* the horoscope pre&icte& the e'ents o* your wee5( 1sing a new in&e> car& each &ay% write &own the things you &o &uring the &ay( )* something especially goo& or especially ba& happens% ma5e a note o* it( -ot &own the names an& birth&ays/7o&iac signs o* new people you meet an& people who play a big part in your &ay( @rite &own any signi*icant numbers you notice 4e(g(% your math :ui7 ha& se'en :uestions% or you ma&e *our goals in the soccer game6( <O:PParents -ob</O:P Collect the horoscope *rom the newspaper or the internet throughout the wee5J sa'e all twel'e 7o&iac signs *or each &ay( Iabel the bac5s o* 1/ in&e> car&s with the twel'e signs o* the 7o&iac% one per car&( Cut out all the pre&ictions *or your teens sign% an& paste them in &ate or&er e(g(% 2un&ay through 2atur&ay onto the *ront o* the matching labele& in&e> car&( 40e sure to trim o** the name o* the sign *rom the top o* the pre&ictions(6 Repeat with each o* the other 7o&iac signs &escriptions an& their matching labele& in&e> car&s( Compare Pre&iction to Real Ii*e<O:P</O:P .t the en& o* the wee5% sprea& out the twel'e in&e> car&s with the horoscope entries *or each sign on the 5itchen table( Ma5e sure that the bac5s o* the car&s 4with the signs written on them6 are not 'isible( .s5 your teen to rea& through each car& without pee5ing% an& compare the e'ents pre&icte& *or each &ay with his/her Mournal entries( .s5 him/her to choose the in&e> car& *or his/her 7o&iac sign% an& then &iscuss: Coul& you tell right away which was your 7o&iac sign? .re there any e'ents that were &escribe& per*ectly by your horoscope? On any gi'en &ay% was your horoscope mostly true or mostly *alse? Do the writers o* these horoscopes &epen& on coinci&ence an& +wish*ul thin5ing, to 5eep you coming bac5? .&&itional .cti'ities<O:P</O:P Rea& an& &iscuss Br( 2tanley <ara5as article% +.strology an& Our Baith%, Contemporary Moral )ssues Bacing the Ortho&o> Christian% Minneapolis% Minn(: Iight an& Ii*e Publishing% 1 !/% pp( /K3/E( Discuss other acti'ities that coul& ta5e the place o* &aily horoscope rea&ing at the brea5*ast table% inclu&ing prayer% singing the troparion *or the &ay% rea&ing the &aily epistle an& gospel% etc( Research an& &iscuss 9o&s use o* the stars an& planets *or <is own purposes% starting with <is star in the Dast% which le& the three wise men to the newborn 2a'ior 4see Matthew /:1:1/6 Prepare *or the 9reat Bast an& Pascha by stu&ying the boo5 o* )saiah together as a *amily this year( )t is *ull o* pre&ictions about the long3awaite& Messiah that are per*ectly *ul*ille& by the birth% &eath% an& resurrection o* our Ior& -esus Christ( $hese ancient pre&ictions are rea& in Church &uring <oly @ee5% so we can see their truth *or oursel'es( by Gichola $o&a Orause P1 3/""" by Ortho&o> Bamily Ii*e an& the original author4s6( 1RI: http://www(theologic(com/o*lweb( $his web site is &onate& an& maintaine& by $heoIogic 2ystems% which pro'i&es so*tware an& in*ormation tools *or Ortho&o> Christians an& parishes worl& wi&e( 33333333333333333333333333333333333333333333

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