“Tell me a story.” We hear this from children all the time. As a home-school mom, I enjoy the privilege of explaining different aspects of our faith to the children. At Thanksgiving, we talk about the Puritans, the Pilgrims and the Separatist, (yes, all the same people, just three different names for vocabulary sake). I love explaining how the people wanted the freedom to worship God in their own way and read the Bible for themselves. It was a Faith and a Belief worth fighting for, even unto hardship, imprisonment and death. Each year, it's a privilege to share with the children how God meets our needs and met the needs of the Pilgrims years ago. This is why we celebrate Thanksgiving each year, to give Thanks to God for His bountiful mercies.
The story of Hanukkah or Chanukah is a similar story. The Hebrew nation enjoyed their freedom until King Antiochus of Syria came in, took over, defiled the Holy Temple and drove the Jewish people into slavery and exile. One man and his family chose to fight back for their freedom to worship God and for their home land. He was a priest named Mattathias. When he grew weary, he anointed his son Judah the Maccabee to continue the fight. They fought and won victoriously. They restored the Holy Temple and went to light the eternal light of God, only to find there was only a day's worth of oil left in the lamp. The journey to retrieve more oil was an 8 day journey to the nearest place and back. The lamp was lit, but miraculously they returned 8 days later to find the lamp still burning with the eternal light of God. Now, each year, the Jewish, Hebrew nation, the Israelites, celebrate 8 days of the Miracle of Lights or Hanukkah, (Chanukah), to remember what God had done and how he met their needs.
We as Christians do the same thing for Christmas. We celebrate the birth of the Messiah, the long awaited King, the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ. We as sinners were separated from God.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)
Without Christ, we were doomed for eternal death.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (NIV)
We needed a Savior, and God knew that.
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
God met that need.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
Each year, we tell these stories over and over and over. Generation after generation continue to pass down the stories of how God met their needs.
Don't forget to share all of this with your children.
“Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:7 (NIV)
Go Tell It On The Mountain what Jesus Christ has done.