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Happy Chanukah Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 December 2011

 Chanukah-"The Festival of Lights"

By Theresa Flemingeditor1_1.jpg

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus, there's another celebration that is also approaching and that's the Celebration of Chanukah.  Now some might wonder why I, a person of Christian faith would want to include the story of Chanukah in a letter about Christmas.  The answer lies partly in that as a person of Christian faith, I have a deep and profound respect for the place that those of Jewish faith hold in God's heart, for they have always been, and will always be God's Chosen People, and He loves them. And partly, because as a Christian I think it's important to learn about all of God's miracles, and Chanukah is without a doubt, one of God's very special miracles.  As the story has been told to me, about 2,200 years ago one of the Greco-Syrian King's Antiochus Epiphanes, forbade the Jewish people from "praying to their God, practicing their customs and studying their Torah".  

hanukkah.jpgOne day, Judah Maccabee and his four brothers decided to form a group of resistance fighters.  The Maccabee's were a small group of incredibly brave men who had a faith in God that was bigger than all the Greco-Syrian armies combined.  And although the odds seemed overwhelmingly against them,  through sheer guts, determination and an unwavering faith in God, they fought for and successfully reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.  When they arrived at the Temple, there was only enough purified oil to light a lamp for one night, but through God's miraculous grace, the lamp stayed lit for 8 days.   And the Holy Temple  once again became a place where God was worshiped and honored.  This is what the Celebration of Chanukah is really about. And in a time when so many of us struggle to have faith in God and to believe in the power of His miraculous grace, I am grateful to be able to learn from the courageous example of these brave and faithful men. 

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