From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Groundhog: Prognosticator or arbiter?

Groundhog Day   (Photo by Aaron Silvers)
Caught between two calendar traditions, the beginning of February can be a confusing time. 

On the one hand, the Christianity-rooted Gregorian calendar says that we're still in the midst of winter.  On the other hand, the Earth-based Celtic calendar says that it's time to celebrate spring.

According to Wikipedia, today's Neopagan traditions follow a loosely-based medieval Celtic calendar that celebrates "the four
Gaelic festivals of Samhain (November 1, winter begins), Imbolc (February 1, spring begins), Beltane (May 1, summer begins), and Lughnasadh (August 1, autumn begins).

In this ancient system, the solstices mark the mid-seasons rather than the seasons' beginnings.  Shakespeare's "Midsummer" would have therefore occurred on June 21st, rather than during July or August.  Groundhog Day (along with Imbolc and St. Brigit's Day) would have marked the beginning of spring.

All of this confusion – spring, not spring/winter, not winter – might have led to some intense bickering along the way.  Therefore, an arbiter of some sort was needed.  No human in his or her right mind would have
wanted that kind of responsibility.  It took a gutsy little groundhog to begin settling the matter centuries ago.

That groundhog was Punxsutawney Phil.  He and all of his similarly-named descendants have been burrowing their way to fame ever since.


Copyright February 3, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

1 comment:


    Is it possible to seek God? Calvinists teach that none seek God. They believe God selects all who will be saved, making it an impossibility to seek HIM. Man-made doctrines are always contrary to Scripture. God's word is always, the last word.

    Acts 15:15-17 With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 After theses things I will return, And I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, And I will restore it, 17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,

    Prophets of God agree that all mankind may seek the Lord; a sharp contrast to Calvinistic teaching.

    Psalm 10:4 The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, "There is no God."

    The wicked can seek God, however, they choose not to. Pride destroys the desire to seek God.

    Acts 17:26-27 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

    Mankind is to seek God. He is there for whoever is willing to find Him.

    Psalm 53:1-2 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God.".....2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks God,

    If God selects men to be saved against their will, He would not have to look down to see who seeks Him.

    Proverbs 8:17 "I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.

    God says diligently seek Him. Calvinists proclaim that no man can seek God. Who do you believe?

    2 Chronicles 19:3 But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God."

    Men need to prepare their hearts to seek God.

    Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

    The writer of the Psalms says God will not forsake those who seek God. Those who preach, the John Calvin view of predestination, strongly disagree.

    Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom......

    Jesus says seek God's kingdom. John Calvin says men cannot seek God.

    Hebrews 11:6 ....for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

    God rewards those who seek Him.


    (All Scripture quotes from:NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)