Merry Christmas

cffblog6.jpgDecember 12, 2017 (Tuesday)

One of the most dramatic eras of Israel's history is found in the book of Esther. It is the only book in the Bible that does not contain the name of God. Yet it gives us an account of how God used Esther to save the Hebrew people from total annihilation by the authorities of ancient Persia. The people of Judah had been conquered by Babylon and at that time most of the people had been exiled from their own land into foreign captivity. This captivity lasted 70 years, and during that time the Babylonians were conquered by the Persians, who took control of the captives. Through a series of providential events, Esther, a Jewess, became the Queen of Persia. Her actions in behalf of the Jews resulted in their being spared a holocaust, therefore an annual feast was established to remember this significant event. It is observed by the Jews to this day. It is the Feast of Purim.


The next observance of Purim will take place next year, from the evening of February 28 to the evening of March 1 (24 hours).

The Jews observe several feasts and other special occasions associated with their unique history. Most of them are happy occasions celebrated with joy. One of them, Hanukkah, is celebrated around the same of year as Christmas.It commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. It is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication.

Jesus authorized only two ordinances for His people: Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Both are symbolic observances that emphasize the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior. Christians, however, have established special observances of the birth of Jesus (Christmas), the sufferings of Jesus (Holy Week), and the Resurrection of Jesus (Easter Sunday). The entire life and ministry of Jesus is celebrated with special emphases by many Christian groups memorializing the experiences of Jesus. Christmas is one of them.

Even though Christmas has become secularized in many ways, to those who know they have been saved by the grace of God because they have invited Jesus to become the living Lord of their lives, Christmas is all about the miraculous birth of the Son of God who is the Savior of the world.


Edited version of blog originally published 12/16/14.


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