9 January 2016

THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS!

It's Tuesday! Supermarkets, Toy Stores, Pastry Shops, ALL stores are well-filled again. By afternoon, early evening, they have closed for the day. "¡Llegan los Reyes!" "The Kings are coming!" "The Wisemen arrive tonight!" Even though a light rain had begun to fall, 100,000 lined the streets of downtown all the way to the City Hall. 

Since Christmas girls and boys have lined up in the large department store waiting their turn to meet one of the Wisemen and whisper in his ear what he or she would like him to bring. Some have written letters to the Kings. They have been waiting for this night - the "Cabalgata" - the Parade of the Kings! (very much like a Christmas Parade or Santa Claus Parade) 


Did you know the Wisemen have names? I read that back in the 5th century and found in one of the books of the Apocrypha, the three 'kings' are challed Melichior, Gathaspa and Bithisarea. Today, here in Spain, they are known as Melchor Gaspar and Baltazar. The Roman Catholic church stated that the wisemen were 'searchers of truth' and they represent all people throughout the ages and around the world, who are searching for God. They were also said to represent the three then-known continents: Africa, Asia and Europe. So Baltazar is the African king, Gaspar is from Asia and Melchor, from Europe. 
Melchor

No, we didn't walk downtown, but I did watch some of the parade on the local television channel. Is it O.K. to take photos from the TV? Here are some. 

Gaspar





Baltasar









Matthew 2:1, 2 NLT - "Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jeews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him." is the real account of the wisemen and why they journeyed.













8 January 2016

THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS!

If you were to go downtown on Monday January 4th - the 10th day of Christmas, you would be part of the large crowds of people everywhere!!!! The Kings are coming! = The Day of the Kings (Wisemen), when the children receive their gifts. It's difficult to navigate down the streets. The stores are packed and it seemed to be that way all day, morning, afternoon and til closing at night! For me, it's not a day to go shopping!

But there are many other interesting things you can do - many things for families with young children. It seems at almost every plaza and pedestrian street you can find fun things for the kids = rides, trampolines, inflatable castles. I thought it was very kind of the owners to put chairs up along the sides for the parents to sit and watch their little ones. 

At the end of the park around the corner from where we live, an Ice Skating Rink has been set up inside a large white tent. Even though the Christmas temperatures were reaching 20C/68F, many young and some older were lining up for an hour's skating time. 
Vendors are everywhere - balloon figures with all the children's popular characters, stands offering cotton candy, candy apples, roasted chestnuts, even waffles and doughnuts.

Across the avenue and in along other boulevards of the city "Christmas Markets" have been set up. So many interesting items - scarves, hats, bags, jewellery, Mallorcan breads and cakes, toys, cheeses and sausages....... plus all the figures you'd every want to create your own 'Manger Scene'. 

The festivites continue! The city is alive!

7 January 2016

THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS!

Sunday - the first Sunday of the new year 2016 - the 9th day of Christmas! Christian Center of Mallorca is where we attend - where we are a part of the pastoral staff. Because we live in the downtown of Palma, we can walk to the church! How good is that? Parking is so difficult in the area. We are very grateful.

The first Sunday of each month is "El Domingo del Kilo!" ="Kilo Sunday". That is the day when we are all encouraged to bring in a non-perishable item for the Food Bank and to help families in need. Sugar was on the list this time. I had sugar ready to take. 

The first Sunday is also "Communion Sunday" - the Sunday we take part of the "Lord's Supper" = commemorate the death, burial, resurrection and soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NLT - "On the night when he ws betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.' In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying. 'this cup is the new covenant between God and his people - an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it' For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again."

"Feliz Año Nuevo" - "Happy New Year", began the pastor. "And a blessed an prosperous year to you all!" He added a quote from a popular comic character - Mafalda. "It's not 2016 that has to be different. It's you!" The message was titled, "En Marcha" which I translated - "Keeping On!" Scripture brought to our attention: Matthew 4:4 - NKJV - "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."  and all were encouraged to "not forsake the assembling of ourselves together ... but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 - NKJV. God invites us to live in relationship with Him. God calls us to 'be in motion.'
New Year's greeting from Centre Cristia. 




THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS!

So very sorry I got stuck - or stopped - on the 7th Day of Christmas! That wasn't the plan! All I can say is that a 'virus' struck and laid me low for several days. I shall try to 'catch up'. This won't include all the plans I had to celebrate the 12 days, but it will show what others could choose to do.
The Eighth Day of Christmas was a Saturday. Families and friends from all the neighborhoods of Palma as well as towns and villages throughout the island enjoy coming to the 'big city'. One thing they do is just 'stroll around' enjoying the beautiful lights and stopping for churros and hot chocolate.






 A stop to see the intricate and detailed 'Belenes' = 'Manger Scenes' throughout the city is a must also. They aren't just 'manger scenes', they depict the whole town and area of Bethlehem, complete with streets and houses, fields and streams, women cooking and washing, men at their shops. They are amazing works of art.

Here are some photos for you to enjoy.