Happy New Year! ©

What does Easter have to do with New Year? Well, it depends on what calendar you’re looking at (Wikipedia lists at least 35 different calendars used worldwide by different people groups). This past weekend was Nissan 1, which is the New Year on the ancient Hebrew calendar. But if you’re looking on the Gregorian calendar (that most of the world runs on), April 1st will be Easter, less than two weeks away.

I dare say that most of us never look past our myopic noses at any other calendar but the Gregorian, but I think it’s worth a few minutes to consider both to see what we can learn.

According to Jewish tradition, On the first of Nissan of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE–two weeks before the Exodus), God showed Moses the new moon and told him, “When you see the moon like this, sanctify [the new month].” This ushered in the first Jewish month, and commenced the lunar calendar Jews have been following ever since. This is the calendar they use to determine when to celebrate their Jewish holidays which don’t coincide with our (Gregorian) calendar at all.

The reason is that the Hebrew year is based on a Lunisolar calendar (a calendar whose date indicates both the moon phase and the time of the solar year) and is about eleven days shorter than the solar year. Our forefathers, who were a lot smarter than we give them credit for, recognized this many moons ago (pun intended) and decided to correct it .

The Gregorian calendar is internationally the most widely used civil calendar. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582.

It was a refinement to the Julian calendar involving an approximately 0.002% correction in the length of the calendar year. The motivation for the reform was to stop the drift of the calendar with respect to the equinoxes and solstices—particularly the northern vernal equinox, which helps set the date for Easter.

So what does all this have to do with us seniors? First of all I think it’s good for us to think beyond our own small universe now and then. But more importantly, to realize that most of the aforementioned calendar juggling was done to reconcile our calendar to the actual phases of the sun and moon so that we can know when to celebrate Easter (which I prefer to call resurrection day ).

Why all the fuss? Because without the resurrection of Christ none of us has a hope for the future. The bottom line is that the birth and resurrection of Christ are the two most important events in human history; so much so that our calendars are focused on them (BC and AD)!

And for seniors, we’re running out of time if we haven’t recognized that and reconciled our relationship with God. Why not get that taken care of this Resurrection Day, April 1, 2018 Anno Domini!

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!

Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at william.mercylink@gmail.com

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