At last, 11th June, the longest day of the year – but not anymore! Today’s date would have been the summer solstice prior to 1752, when Britain moved from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. New Year’s Day changed from 25th March to 1st January, and eleven days were lost in September of that year. In fact some people mistakenly believed that their lives were being shortened by eleven days! Personally, I would have been more concerned about the loss of my birthday, which occurs in early September.
11th June is also St. Barnabas Day, which prior to 1752 prompted the rhyme: “Barnaby bright, all day and no night.” It was also the day to begin haymaking: “By St. Barnabas, put scythe to grass.” But who was St. Barnabas?
He was in fact a Jewish follower of Jesus from First Century Cyprus, and his name was actually Joseph. He was given the nickname ‘Barnabas’ by those who knew him, because he was generous and always saw the best in people. Barnabas means ‘son of encouragement’.
What a contrast to today’s Twenty-First Century world. It’s those who say the wrong thing, even if innocently meant, who seem to be in the news today. People are often quick to point out the smallest mistake, no matter how long ago it occurred. Instead, perhaps we could all have a go at being more like Barnabas: noticing people’s good points, forgetting their failures and commending others for doing the right thing. It would make for a happier world.
“Become kind toward one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God forgave you because of Christ’s death on the cross.”Ephesians 4:32
See what a difference a positive word can make – check out this video (2 mins 30 secs) and have a great day: