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    Surprised by Christmas

    Wide-eyed wonder. Snow-covered trees. Bow-draped packages. It’s the quintessential picture of Christmas portrayed in commercials and on cards. But as adults we know the season is seldom so simplistic. The first Christmas certainly wasn’t. It was marked by surprises—but not necessarily the kind most of us would choose on our own. Mary’s life was interrupted by an angelic visitor, proclaiming news that would forever change the course of her life and her position in history. Joseph found out his fiancé was expecting a child that wasn’t his own, only to be visited by an angel in a dream who explained everything and told him to move forward with their marriage.…

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    EXPECTATION

    "The Disciples" painted in 1898 by Swiss Artist Eugene Burnand, was bought by the French State for the Luxembourg Museum in Paris and is considered one of his greatest works. Burnard was an artist of outstanding range and talent whose art had religious and basic life themes. Those who take the time to find this painting, now hung in the Musee d’Orsay on the left bank of the Seine in Paris, come away saying that viewing the canvas is akin to a spiritual experience. Some say it is the greatest Easter painting ever made. Consider the painting – At the blush of dawn, Peter and John are rushing to the…