This is the beginning of the holiday season. On December 10, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah will start. The Christian season of Advent begins today. Both of these seasons involve light. The Menorah is lit, the Christmas lights decorate our trees and houses. It’s time to experience a special, wonderful time.
Hanukkah lasts for eight days and celebrates the re-dedication of the second temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC. Eight candles are lit to symbolize each of the eight days. Christians honor the birth of the light of the world, Jesus, His birth and the promise of the Messiah fulfilled.
When we enter this time of Christ’s birth and the wonder of the season, there is much that’s difficult to understand – angelic announcements to Mary and her betrothed husband, Joseph – a virgin birth – the King of Creation born into poverty in a lowly stable surrounded by animals – a chorus of angels singing praises to God for this amazing event as angels watched in amazement – God and man united and wrapped up in one tiny baby – a fulfillment of so many prophetic messages from the Old Testament, all pointing to the Savior of the world.
By today’s standards this is just a foolish story designed to give people hope in time of trouble. There is no truth – simply a fantasy created by men to lead the masses like sheep.
But it isn’t a fairy tale. It is truth that we can believe with the help of the Holy Spirit, who gives us faith. God created us. He loves us unconditionally, even though we don’t deserve His love. He took on human flesh to become one of us – to experience sadness, pain, anger, poverty and all that life throws at us, yet in all of it, He remained faithful to His heavenly Father. That doesn’t make sense either, does it? To top it off, he submitted to a torturous end, endured the scourge beyond the normal amount of lashes, suffered, was humiliated, spat upon and crucified. He died so that we don’t have to.
When we put reason in the equation, all of it sounds ridiculous. When we believe by faith that every word is true, we have come to understand the wonder of all of it. God’s love is immeasurable. He created a paradise for mankind and wants it for us again.
As we begin this season, let’s not forget who the light of the world truly is. He died, yet he rose from death. We will die too someday. When we place our trust in Him, our death will not be the end of the story, but the beginning of a new adventure. Let the light shine and never forget what that light represents.