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The Ides of April

The term “ides” originally referred to the first new moon of each month and generally ended at the first full moon of the month. April 2022 has two new moons, the first occurring on April 1, with the full moon occurring this coming week on the 16th. The importance of this is debatable, but the role the month of April has played in history, is not.

April has historically been one of the most critical months, of the calendar, throughout history. In fact, the calendar itself owes three key origins to the month of April, which are:

1. Jesus is believed to have been crucified on or about April 15, and there are many people who believe the years numbered on our calendars started with the death of Jesus Christ. Those people would be incorrect. Our calendar starts with the birth of Jesus. A.D. does not mean ‘after death’, but anno Domini, Latin for “the year of our Lord”. The full term is actually anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Thus, the years on our calendars started with the birth of Jesus.

2. On 4/4/0025 BC, Reforms made to the Roman calendar under Julius Caesar created the Julian Calendar, with 365 days in a year divided into 12 months and a leap year every four years.

3. On 4/11/1582 AD, due to inaccuracies resulting from the Julian Calendar, Pope Gregory XIII issued the Gregorian Calendar, which reduced the number of leap years. The Gregorian calendar corrected an eleven (11) minute error in the Julian calendar.

Three other key Christian occurrences happened in April:

1. Certainly, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ is without question the greatest event that ever occurred on this Earth, certainly in line with God’s creation itself and His incredible grace to send Jesus to save us all.

2. On or about 4/22/0050 AD, the Apostle Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians is the earliest known written Christian text

3. On 4/30/1640, The Bay Psalm Book, becomes the first book printed in British North America. The residents of the colony asked John Eliot, Thomas Welde, and Richard Mather to undertake a new translation from the Hebrew, of the Book of Psalms, for use in the colony’s churches. Mather was the principal author and translator, but was assisted by about 30 other New England ministers. The book was printed in 1640. Reissued in successive editions, it remained in use for more than 100 years.

April 4 has another appearance as a great day in history. The Julian calendar is credited with its birth on 4/4 but a great day for the United States occurred on this date in 1818. President James Monroe signed the Act of April 4, 1818, which dictated how the flag would be altered when new states were admitted to the Union. By that time, there were 20 states, and the new rules determined that a star would be added for each new state, but that the number of stripes would be held to 13 to honor the original colonies.

April 15 oddly rises to the top of reoccurring historical events, some good, but most bad. Here is a look at this day in history’s milestones:

First off, many historians believe Jesus Christ was crucified on April 15. Even though the actual date is often debated, the event itself changed the world, as God had fully intended. Depending on your mindset, this event was both horrible and wonderful. What the authorities did to Jesus was certainly horrific, but the fact that God and His Son would show us such love and grace to go through such terrible treatment, should be seen by most as a wonderful, yet underserving show of incredible love, care, and grace, for all us sinners.

Of course, for citizens of the United States, April 15 is the standard tax-day when all taxpayers are required to have submitted their yearly tax returns.

Evil certainly has taken this day, along with many other days, to rear its ugly head. These things occurred on this date:

o 1865 - Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

o Two events that maybe occurred, not at the hand of evil, but more a result man’s mistaken arrogance of design and proper care:

  • 1912 – The Titanic hits an iceberg and sinks

  • 2009 - Historic Notre-Dame de Paris caught fire during a restoration campaign, and the blaze destroyed most of the cathedral's roof, the 19th-century spire, and some of the rib vaulting.

o 2013 – Two events the same year:

  • Twin bomb blasts targeting the Boston marathon kill three people and injured more than 170. Soviet-born Islamic extremist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is charged after a manhunt in which his elder brother and suspected co-conspirator Tamerlan is killed.

  • Another attempt was made to assassinate the president when a letter laced with ricin, a deadly poison, was sent to President Obama

Three events that can be seen as good and perhaps bad:

o 1835 - James Gordon Bennett founds the New York Herald and creates the mass media.

o 1955 - American fast-food pioneer Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's franchise, launching an enterprise that would eventually become the world's largest fast-food chain, in Des Plaines, Illinois.

o 1977 - The Apple II is introduced, and the era of the personal computer begins.

Finally, a good story occurred on this date: In 1947, Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball's racial barrier, played in his first major league game for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field.

Regardless of whether or not you feel these events are good, or bad, April certainly has had it’s share of eventful activities, many of which I did not list. Such as Maryland, Louisiana, and North Carolina becoming states and the Ringling Brothers Circus being founded.

So, what does April mean to you? What memories or events come to mind when you think April?

April is commonly defined and/or associated with the season of autumn in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, and spring in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the seasonal equivalent to October in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. In the Greek definition, April is named after the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. In the Roman calendar, the fourth month April is spelled Aprilis, meaning "to open."

Regardless of the definition and the many critical events that have occurred in this special month, we have all been touched by Aprils’ personal, professional, and world events and occurrences. To me, April means new, rebirth, fresh starts, and new beginnings. Thus, why I feel it is so critical to thank God for His Incredible Son Jesus and the incredible events of Easter, which we are about to celebrate.

Yes, a lot of things happened in April, but none more important than the following:

The Apostle John said it best in his writing of John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus Himself told us, as reflected in the Book of John: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

John later recounts these words from Jesus: “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Luke would go onto to tell us of the last words Jesus would say before being crucified: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” A few hours later, Luke tells us Jesus exclaimed: Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” John tells us Jesus then said: “It is Finished!”

But quite frankly as critical as those words were, the more important words Jesus uttered were recounted in John 20, who depicts what happened as follows: Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again, Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”:

AMEN AMEN AMEN - Thank You God for these most important resurrected words of, Jesus Christ our Lord our Savior!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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