binondo


“Kung Hei Fat Choi!” popularly known as “Happy New Year!” but actually the phrase means  “Congratulations and Be Prosperous.” Though we just laugh off the Chinese New Year and its traditions as mere pagan beliefs and not associated with any biblical facts, I think it is worth to note however, that these people despite the negative implications  are still considered by many to be the emerging world power in the years to come. Let us go over the historical facts of the Chinese New Year and the myth surrounding it. And let us read between the lines and compare some of these practices with those implemented inside the Church.

1266218323535_1266218323535_rThe dragon dance usually accompanies the Chinese New Year. Chinese dragons are a symbol of China, and they are believed to bring good luck to people, therefore the longer the dragon in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community. The dragons are believed to possess qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom and auspiciousness. The appearance of a dragon is both frightening and bold but it has a benevolent disposition, and so eventually became an emblem to represent imperial authority [compared to the OWE thumbprint pin required to be worn by every officer in the Church including its ministers]. The movements in a performance traditionally symbolize historical roles of dragons demonstrating power and dignity.

The New Year festival is centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese New Year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes [remember the Guinness records for largest fireworks and of course, our year end “pasalamat” envelopes].

According to tales and legends, the beginning of the Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called the Nian. Nian would eat villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people [start of the “paglalagak” for the incoming year?]. One day, a villager decided to get revenge on the Nian. A god visited him and told him to put red paper on his house and to place firecrackers. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. When the New Year was about to come, the villagers would wear red clothes, hang red lanterns, and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu’s mount [now, as to who would represent the ancient monk that captured the beast is anyone’s guess).

  • W. Smith

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12195990_1481938672136632_6103474516711208710_nThere are so many verses in the bible that relate to Jesus and her mother, the love of a son to her mother and vice versa. However, I’d like to touch on one aspect which EVM has utilized countless times in justifying the expulsion of his mother and kin, the over-used biblical passage in Mark 3 : 33 – 34 (New international Version):

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!

Now let’s look at the verses in context. What does the bible say before and after these verses?

Mark 3 (New international Version)

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He [Jesus] is possessed by Beelzebul [contemporary name for the devil]! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

30 He said this because they were saying, “He [Jesus] has an impure spirit.”

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Now I ask you dear EVM, whose kingdom is divided against itself? Whose house is divided against itself? Who ties up the strong man so that he may plunder his house? Who blasphemies against the Holy Spirit and is guilty of eternal sin?

And now, who are your mother, brother, and sisters? Only those who does God’s will is considered your mother, brother, and sisters.  So in that case, you are one sorry, desolate, isolated, godforsaken entity of a person who has the nerve to describe himself as “Tagapamahalang Pangkalahatan.”

What else does the bible say about an arrogant and abusive son to his mother?

The Message Bible

Proverbs 19:26 (MSG) Kids who lash out against their parents are an embarrassment and disgrace.

Proverbs 10:1 1The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish son is a grief to his mother. 2Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers from death.

New International Version

Matthew 15:4 (NIV) For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’

New International Reader’s Version

Ephesians 6:1 (NIRV) Children, obey your parents as believers in the Lord. Obey them because it’s the right thing to do.

New International Version

Proverbs 1:8 (NIV) Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

The Message Bible

Proverbs 23:22 (MSG) Listen with respect to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don’t neglect her.

Yesterday while visiting a friend in Baguio City I chanced upon a sign before a graven image of Jesus Christ fronting the Baguio Cathedral.

New International Version
John 19:25-27

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,here is your son,”
27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

So, one of the very few words our Saviour said in his dying breath was to his disciple during  the grief of his mother witnessing what no mother should ever experience during a woman’s lifetime – the death of her very own son helplessly nailed on the cross: “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

And you dear EVM, did you take your mother into your home?

 

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_dance

http://tagaloglang.com/chinese-new-year-in-the-philippines/