The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 1:42 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2024

John, the Disciple

By Linda H. Barnette

John the disciple was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, who is traditionally believed to be the author of the three letters of John, as well as the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation. He was one of the most prominent leaders of the early church.

His parents were Zebedee, a fisherman in Galilee, and Salome, who were among the first followers of Jesus.  His brother James was also a follower of Jesus. Their mother Salome was one of the women who ministered to the disciples by fixing their food and so on. The 2 brothers were among the first chosen by Jesus. John, James, and Peter seemed to be the closest to Christ. Scholars also think that John was likely “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” as mentioned in his Gospel.

Only John, James, and Peter were with Jesus when he raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead, during the Transfiguration, and in the Garden of Gethsemane. In addition, he and Peter were sent to the city to prepare for the last supper. Many scholars identify John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and who was the one sitting beside him in the famous painting of “The Last Supper.”

And only John was present at the crucifixion.  Following instructions from his Master on the cross, John took Mary, the mother of Jesus, into his care.

Following the crucifixion, John and Peter appeared a few times together.  Writers about John think that he was exiled to the island of Patmos by the Romans because of preaching the gospel. And in the book of Revelation, which likely was written by him, John himself said he was there “for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

I have always loved the writings of John and am happy to be studying about him in my Bible Study this year.  There is something about his style of writing that just draws me into its beauty. My favorite verse is John 1:5, “And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.” KJV. The light of which he spoke was the light of the world.

Sources: the Holy Bible, Encyclopedia Britannica, and articles online.

  

The Tradition of Pea and Bean

By Stephanie Williams Dean

In medieval England, later, Twelfth Night became a celebration that signaled the end of Christmastide. The twelve-day festive period after Christmas ended with a final feast – the Twelfth Night – also referred to as the Feast of Epiphany, Three Kings Day, and Theophany. The feast ended the evening before the 6th of January – the day on which the three wise men, or Magi, are believed to have visited Jesus. And then a new season of Epiphanytide ran up until Candlemas.

The word Epiphany comes from the Greek word “epiphaneia” which means appearance or manifestation and refers to the manifestation of Jesus to the world. Around the world, Christians mark the beginning of the season of Epiphany, usually on January 6th.

Early Christians sure did use lots of words referring to this day – but there’s a reason why. And regardless of the name, Twelfth Night was tied to biblical accounts of Jesus Christ’s birth and baptism. Some Western Christian churches called the feast day – the Three Kings Day – recalling the visit of the wise men. But Eastern traditions call it Theophany – with a focus on the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. The holiday was a chance for Christians to reflect on the nature of God’s physical manifestation on Earth and pay homage to Christ’s visitors in the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth.

These days, marked by celebrations, festivals, and feasts were a time when food often played an important role. One common practice was the baking of a celebration bread or cake that contained fruit and spices and served at the Twelfth Night feast or Epiphany. A popular Twelfth Night tradition was to have a bean or pea hidden inside what was called a Twelfth Night Cake, or sometimes called a Three Kings Cake. As part of the celebration, the man who found the bean in his slice of cake became King for the night while the lady who found a pea in her slice became Queen for the night.

Part of the revelry and fun – the man and woman became the king and queen of Twelfth Night.