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Christmas Eve asteroid: Is this the Bible’s Star of Bethlehem – A sign from Jesus Christ? | Weird | News

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The , dubbed Asteroid 2018 XN5, will swing past the planet on the same night Christians believe the star announced the imminent birth of Jesus 2,018 years ago. Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California expect the space rock to flyby on a so-called Earth Close Approach tommorow. At its closest, the asteroid will come within 706, 464.14 miles (1.13million km) of Earth at approximately 6.17pm GMT on Monday evening, December 24. And though the asteroid will not be visible to the unaided eye from the planet, is it more than just a coincidence it passes on the night of Christmas Eve?

The fabled Star of Bethlehem, or Star, appears in the nativity story penned in the Gospel of Matthew.

The star is believed to have led the Three Wise Men from the East to Jerusalem where they paid tribute to baby Jesus in his manger.

Matthew Chapter 2 reads: “And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

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“And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him.”

But what does this mean for Asteroid XN5? Is tomorrow’s flyby connected to the biblical story of Jesus Christ’s birth?

According to Dr Bob Thiel, an expert on biblical prophecy and scripture, the passage is more likely than not a coincidence.

But the biblical expert suggested there are other such celestial bodies described in the New Testament, which could be headed for Earth.

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Dr Thiel told : “In my view, Asteroid XN5 is simply a natural phenomenon.

“But it would not surprise me if some feel that the timing is supernatural or that it could be related to the prophesied destruction of Wormwood described in the Book of Revelation.

“Wormwood could be an asteroid, though a comet seems more likely.

“But because of the timing of Asteroid XN5, it cannot be Wormwood.

“That destruction cannot happen for at least seven years from now as it happens after the seventh seal of the scroll of Revelation 5 is opened, which is shown in Revelation 8:1.”

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Dr Thiel added most biblical scholars, himself included, do not actually believe Jesus was born on the widely celebrate Christmas Day on December 25.

The Bible does not specify an exact date for Jesus’ birth, but some clues point towards the springtime.

The date of December 25 was adopted by early from pagan traditions in a bid to ease the transition into the growing religion.

Dr Thiel said: “We would not think that the timing of Asteroid XN5 is a message from God related to Christmas.”

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Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

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So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

For Masuma, the decision to keep her daughter home was complex: extended family members are immunocompromised and she worried the in-person learning environment would be unpleasant because of precautions. She also felt her daughter might benefit from being supported at home.

“She doesn’t necessarily enjoy school. I also found out during the pandemic that she was being bullied [last year],” said Masuma. “So I thought, why not try from home?”

To help her daughter socialize face-to-face with other kids, Masuma enrolled Hana in Baxter Forest School, an alternative education program where kids spend most of their time outside, one day a week. Hana also attends virtual Arabic classes two days a week after school. 

Masuma’s husband and Hana share the living room work space, and Masuma admits he does the lion’s share of helping their daughter stay on task. There is a possibility that he’ll be required to return to his office in the new year.

“When he goes back to work … it’s probably going to be a little bit more difficult.”

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No school closures after Christmas holiday break, says Ontario education minister

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Ontario elementary and secondary schools will not close for an extended winter break, says Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Closures aren’t needed given Ontario’s “strong safety protocols, low levels of (COVID-19) transmission and safety within our schools,” Lecce announced Wednesday afternoon. He said he had consulted with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and the province’s public health measures advisory table.

That ended speculation about school buildings remaining closed in January for a period of time after the Christmas break.

Earlier in the week, Lecce told reporters the government was considering having students spend “some period out of class” in January, perhaps switching to online learning.

In a statement, Lecce said that even though rates of community transmission of COVID-19 are increasing, “schools have been remarkably successful at minimizing outbreaks to ensure that our kids stay safe and learning in their classrooms.”

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Windy start to the week in Ottawa

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OTTAWA — It’s a blustery Monday in the capital with wind gusts of up to 50 km/hour expected throughout the day.

Environment Canada is forecasting a high of 4 C with a 60 per cent chance of showers or flurries before the wind dies down later this evening.

There’s a chance of flurries on Tuesday as well with a high of -1 C. The overnight low will dip to an unseasonal -9 C.  

Wednesday’s high will be just -5 C with lots of sunshine.

Seasonal temperatures return for the rest of the week..

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