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Chanukkah and Christmas


Note to the reader: This essay is mainly directed toward Literotica readers who also share the Judeo-Christian world view. It may not make sense to anyone else. The following, to me, is not fiction; it is reality. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukkah to all true believers.

This season is about the mighty acts of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the great "I Am" who has been called by many names, YHWH, Jehovah, the Most High God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth and many more. It is He who provided the "Ten Words" which we call the "Ten Commandments."

After the faithful remnant of Judah returned to Judea after their captivity in Babylon they set up their own government. However, the Greeks under Alexander the Great, took over the land. On Alexander's death his generals split the region up into three pieces. One of those pieces contained Judea. The Greeks were violently anti-Jewish. At Chanukkah we celebrate the Festival of Lights. After the Greek authorities were driven out of Judea attention was turned to the temple. Unfortunately the Greeks had desicrated the temple. There was only enough consecrated oil to burn the temple lamp for one night. However, to consecrate new oil would take many nights with the lamp burning. God provided the light for the required time using only the oil normally needed for one night. He provided the light when it was needed most.

In the story of when Abraham followed God's order to sacrifice his son; he was stopped by an angel of the Lord. He was told that "God would provide the Lamb". In the story, in Genesis, there is a ram stuck in a nearby thicket that Abraham sacrificed.

In the Exodus the "Angel of Death" visited Egypt, but Passed Over the houses that had lamb's blood on the door frames. The lamb that was slain provided protection from the death of all the first born in Egypt.

In Isaiah God speaks of the Suffering Servant who will bear the sins of the people (Israel and now also the Gentiles).

In the Christian faith we believe that the great "I AM", the one who created the universe that we know and all of what we do not know, provided the final sacrifice needed to provide forgiveness from our sinful nature. He did this by setting aside His Glory and then taking on flesh and blood to become the true Lamb of God. He was the one that was pointed to by the substitute ram, and Isaiah's Suffering Servant. He was born into a poor family and in less than glorious surroundings. It is possible that the shepherds who were watching their flocks by night were watching over the sheep that provided for the daily sacrifice at Herod's Temple. How fitting that they were summoned to see the ultimate sacrificial Lamb.

We hear of the three kings, but the Holy Scriptures never tell us how many there were. They were called Magi, and came from Persia (Iran). How did they know that the Saviour was to be born at that time and in Judea? Simple, the prophet Daniel had been placed as the head of the Magi and would have taught them. His message was passed down through the centuries until the right time. The prophet Micah (Micah 5:2-ff) identified the town of Bethlehem as the Messiah's birth place.

Please note that there is no Santa Claus mentioned anywhere in these sources. We get our current pictures of Santa from a poem by Clement Moore (died 1863).

This season both Jews and Christians celebrate the times that God has stepped into our space-time and modified our physical laws for His purposes. This is a time of celebration for those of us who believe; even as Abraham believed.

One of the most difficult things to "get our minds around" is that the God who created a universe would be interested in such insignificant beings as humans. After all, we have more in common with a virus or bacterium than we do with God. He is totally Other! In spite of that He decided to take on the form of a human child. Fantastic, and Fact.

We do not know the actual date upon which the Messiah was born. We actually aren't completely sure of the year. However; we celebrate the event, not the day.

In this spirit of the season I wish all of Abraham's true children peace and joy in God Almighty during this season.

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