Friday, December 23, 2016

It's Christmas; It's Also Hanukkah

Life is undoubtedly busy for you during these days. As it happens every year, your attention is divided between the daily rush of activities and the more harried rush of a holiday season. It is far too easy to get lost in the "art of busyness." So, slow down for a minute. Think with me about what we are celebrating.

It's Christmas. It is the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the fulfillment of old prophecies. 

It is the promise of new life.
                                                   Of salvation.
                                                                           Of hope.
                                                                                           And of peace.
"Glory to God in the highest!", sang the angels. "And on earth, peace, goodwill toward men."
Peace. Peace for your war-torn heart. Peace from the myriad voices that have assaulted you. Peace from the angry, terrifying black hole of depression that threatens to swallow you alive. Peace from living one more day, taking one more step, wondering if there really is any purpose for your life. 

Who would have thought that a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes would be the One who would calm the storms that swirl around you? Who would have dreamed that the wrinkled, red-faced, crying little fellow in a manger in an animal stall was actually the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Prince of Peace, your Wonderful Counselor? Mighty God! 

And the Light of the world. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light...

Yes, the Light of the world. Which is why I am excited about Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. Jesus stood in the temple during that feast and exclaimed that He was the Light of the world. A Light for the nations (Is. 9:2). A Light unto my path. A Light of hope. A Light of peace. The Light to which all men must one day bow. 

This year, do not fear to tell the world, "Merry Christmas," for Christ has indeed come and one day soon will come again. And do not fear to tell your Jewish friends, "Happy Hanukkah," for the light they celebrate is the true light of the world, even if they are not yet aware of that fact. 

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