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Posts Tagged ‘Bethlehem’

This is the dawning of the end of coronavirus! The Moderna vaccine has been approved and is being distributed, plus today the Groom will receive his Pfizer shot in the arm. Nobody deserves it more than our tireless healthcare workers; I’ve loved watching pictures pop up in my social media feed of all the Bride and Groom’s colleagues rolling up their sleeves. Just as the great state of Tennessee has lurched into first place in one “key pandemic metric:”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tennessee is first for average daily cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days… Tennessee sits at an average of 129.4. Oklahoma is ranked at a distant second with an average of 98. That national average is 64.8.”

Bob estimates that one out of every 30 people walking around TN is currently contagious with coronavirus! Yikes! After spending 40 weeks in virtual quarantine, we’d all like to get out and about right now, but we need to hold on for a bit longer. I, for one, do not want to be the last person to contract this disease right before it is eradicated.

So I am not heading out to the mall for any last minute shopping. We are not eating on heated and tented restaurant patios, because what’s the point of that? The flow of air would be the same as if we were inside a restaurant. I just may do curbside pick-up of Thai food for Christmas! Our family balletic tradition had to be altered slightly this year; the Nashville Ballet’s Nutcracker was almost as beautiful on TV this past weekend, as it was over the years at the TN Performing Arts Center. Although we couldn’t feel the snow.

But we all can safely witness a spectacular celestial event by just walking outside our doors tonight at sundown and gazing into the southwestern sky. Tonight is the Winter Solstice, marking the longest night of the year – or as I like to call it, the beginning of longer daylight hours! And if the clouds stay away, we should be able to see the “Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn, coming so close to each other that they resemble one giant Christmas star.

“It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this “great conjunction.”

The closest alignment will appear just a tenth of a degree apart and last for a few days. On the 21st, they will appear so close that a pinkie finger at arm’s length will easily cover both planets in the sky. The planets will be easy to see with the unaided eye by looking toward the southwest just after sunset.”

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/the-great-conjunction-of-jupiter-and-saturn

While some people think this may have been what happened in Bethlehem, when wise men were led to a certain manger, this is not actually Matthew’s Star from that Gospel. Scholars can’t pinpoint the actual birth of Jesus Christ – our late December date may be off by six years! Also astronomical events can happen frequently, so who knows how the stars were aligned in the first century.

Still, tonight’s the night! Two planets will shine as one giant star, and we are turning a corner in this pandemic. We have just one month before a rational, sane man will assume the Office of the Presidency. Things are looking up!

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