Archive for December, 2012

The Lane Trilogy – Part 4

Lyza and Me at Christmas. Lyza spent Christmas like any other day. If it fell on a weekend she spent the day relaxing or traveling for pleasure. If it fell on a week day, she avoided the office and shopped the internet. She liked the sights and sounds of the holiday. Christmas music in the malls cheered her. Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes started her mornings. She despised the crowds when she wanted to shop. And the Jesus thing, well that story of no room at the inn made absolutely no sense to her.

The Lanes acknowledge Hanukkah, not Christmas. A Jewish family, but not religious, they often spent the eight days of Hanukkah like any other time. As a young girl Lyza’s father taught her and Leesa about what happened when the Maccabees revolted and cleansed the Temple in Jerusalem. Lyza thought it peculiar that the celebration centered around the fact that oil for the lamps lasted eight days. Only a days’ worth of oil lasted eight days and became the miracle celebrated around the world by Jews. Lyza decided the oil lasted because of a quirk in nature.

My Christian education always brought me to the conclusion that it was a quirk of nature too, a supernatural blessing from God to bless the Jewish people. Hanukkah remained a mystery to me as a child. They only way oil would last eight days instead of one is that God made it happen. I didn’t understand why they burned oil in the Temple. My Sunday School class didn’t address the issue, but as an adult I fell in love with the brave Maccabeans who freed the Jewish people from the tyranny of the Greeks. Suddenly Hanukkah became much more than one miracle. God’s hand was on the Jewish people when He used the Maccabees to lead the uprising that gained their freedom.

Christmas and Hanukkah go hand in hand. The miracle of light lasting eight days instead of one holds much more significance in the light of Christ’s birth. Even though Christians celebrate Christmas as the day He was born, we now know He was probably not born on Christmas day. However, I will celebrate Jesus any chance I get, in light of the fact that many believers throughout the world are persecuted for believing. In that same light, let us be grateful for His grace throughout the generations.

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