Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chanukah Comes Saturday!

Christians' elder brothers in the faith celebrate "The Festival of Lights " this Saturday.

Adam Graham podcasts his thoughts.

The story, for those not in the know:

Long ago in the land of Judea there was a Syrian king, Antiochus. The king ordered the Jewish people to reject their G-d, their religion, their customs and their beliefs and to worship the Greek gods. There were some who did as they were told, but many refused. One who refused was Judah Maccabee

JJudah and his four brothers formed an army and chose as their name the word "Maccabee", which means hammer. After three years of fighting, the Maccabees were finally successful in driving the Syrians out of Israel and reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem. The Maccabees wanted to clean the building and to remove the hated Greek symbols and statues. On the 25th day of the month of Kislev, the job was finished and the temple was rededicated

 When Judah and his followers finished cleaning the temple, they wanted to light the eternal light, known as the N'er Tamid, which is present in every Jewish house of worship. Once lit, the oil lamp should never be extinguished

 Only a tiny jug of oil was found with only enough for a single day. The oil lamp was filled and lit. Then a miracle occurred as the tiny amount of oil stayed lit not for one day, but for eight days

 Jews celebrate Chanukah to mark the victory over the Syrians and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. The Festival of the Lights, Chanukah, lasts for eight days to commemorate the miracle of the oil. The word Chanukah means "rededication"

The Wikipedia account of the holiday.

What does that have to do with the Foolishness of Christianity?

Simple: Chanukah reminds every person that takes God seriously--every Fool--that God provides.

God demands spectacular things from us. He provides us the way to meet those demands, too!

Judas Maccabee and his brothers accomplished the impossible. They defeated the Selucids that had dominated Judea for generations. They overcame an army that outmanned them. They won freedom for their people.

Then they chose to honor God through the rededication of his Temple. God provided them with the miraculous means to do so. After working through them to ensure their freedom.

Chanukah reminds all of us to celebrate the God in whom we should all place our utmost trust. He will never demand anything from any of us that he won't empower us to accomplish. We can always count on him, even as the darkness of this world presses in.

And so, to all whom I owe my own Faith; let me say it loud and proud:

Happy Chanukah!