Friday, December 25, 2009

Bless Us, Every One

Magnet # 126: Madonna and Child Icon

Material: Paper, Foil, Stone

Purchased By: Mom & Dad

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you're all having a wonderful time with your friends and families. I've had a great time with mine. I unwrapped plenty of presents this morning (and, yes, got some great magnets to post here in the future), and enjoyed seeing everyone open what I'd gotten for them. I know I've mentioned on here before what a fan I am of Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods on Travel Channel, and for our Christmas meal, we had a dish he's sampled on the show - turducken. While in Maurice, Louisiana, he tried it with Sammy Hebert, who first prepared the superfowl dish in 1985 at his establishment, Soop's Seafood & Steak House Restaurant. If you've never heard of it, it's a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Although I'd eaten it once before, it had been at a buffet and there was quite a bit on my plate to distract me. Today, I had more time to concentrate on the dish and it really was quite tasty. I think the duck was my favorite part. If you're curious to try it, we got ours at our local Fresh Market. All we had to do was cook it for two hours, but it did crumble when we cut into it. The last one we bought didn't have that problem.

For awhile, I had planned on posting this magnet on a Sunday, perhaps, until I realized Christmas was coming and it would be perfect to post today. I thought it was from my parent's trip to Russia, but they told me it was actually from Greece, where religious icons like this one are all over the place. This actually didn't start off as a magnet, but they knew I'd stick a magnet on the back, anyway - and they were right. It's a pretty tough one, and when I put it on a magnet board, it was just too heavy for it, so I had no choice but to display it on the fridge. You know, when I look it, I'm reminded of a recent sermon I listened to about Joseph. The pastor delivering it remarked on how in all of his many years of service, he'd never remembered giving or hearing one about the humble carpenter who became Jesus' mortal father. Although he must have had a great deal of faith to still take Mary as his wife after she was pregnant, and not by him, he never appears in the Bible after Jesus is an adult. Not long after hearing this, I was looking through a Hallmark Christmas publication and I noticed something funny about a Nativity picture in it. When I studied it a bit more, I realized that Joseph was holding a staff and a lamb. And one of the shepherds had neither - sure enough, the two had been switched and nobody had even noticed! I guess it's true - Joseph really doesn't get much respect. Even in one of my favorite movies, Simon Birch, when one character claims that Joseph is the hero of the Christmas story, the title character reminds him that it's the Virgin Mary and that Joseph didn't have much to do with anything. And, of course, he's omitted from this Icon, as well as most others of its kind. Joseph may be overlooked to a great deal, but he was vitally important in Jesus' life - particularly when he took his family to Egypt and escaped King Herod's Massacre of the Infants. So, if you've got anyone in your life that means a great deal to you, but you might tend to overlook, this is an excellent day to remind them just how much they matter to you. And I do want to thank everyone who follows my blog (all one or two of you!). It's much more fun knowing there are folks out there reading all that I've taken the time to write up on here. So, thanks all, and I wish you the best on this special day!


  1. Glad you had a good Christmas. Hope the rest of your holidays go as great and 2010 brings you many more travels and excursions.

    I've always looked at Joseph's story in a slightly different light based on family experiences: My uncle married my aunt after she was pregnant and had given birth to another man's child. He raised that girl as his own daughter and stayed married to my aunt his whole life. It wasn't till I was a teenager that I ever learned the truth.

    So while faith may have played a role in why Joseph stayed with Mary, I have always looked at the story as that of a man who deeply loved the woman he took as his wife, despite her possible flaws.

    In many ways, I like that way of looking at it better than just a man doing what God told him to do.

  2. Hope you had a good one, too!

    In any event, I'm glad there are guys like Joseph and your uncle out there, who do the right thing and don't expect to get praise for it. They make the world a better place.