It is with a deeply grateful heart that once again we find ourselves celebrating two such meaningful and special celebrations of Light and Purpose so close together. The 8-day celebration of Hanukkah began at sunset on Sunday December 18, with Christmas just 7 days later on December 25.
How lovely for all of God’s Children to have something good to look forward to ~ faith centered festivities focused on all that we hold near and dear. As a child growing up in Western New York, I so loved the twinkling of the Christmas tree lights as much as I did the glow from the candles of the Menorah. Perhaps you have similar memories of those you have loved forever more and the occasions you’ve shared? Reflecting on memories is the perfect thing at this time of year.
Celebrating the birth of the Christ child on Christmas is as important to the Christian world as celebrating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem is to the world’s Jewish population. We are all God’s Children, no matter what the religious background, the color of our skins or the ethnicity we hail from.
Reflect for a moment on the astonishing miracles surrounding the birth of Jesus. Aid and comfort were given to a young couple about to bring a new life into the world. All the while, the Heavens were ablaze with a brilliant Light, guiding Wise Men bearing treasured gifts, just as peasants and their flock ~ awe struck at the display of miracles unfolding in the Heavens, surrounded and nurtured the sweet young family with their peaceful gaze.
In Jerusalem, a mighty war for right and justice was waged and won. Generally celebrated near the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah brings “God’s gift of Light to the World” as the menorah is lit on each night of the celebration. Each subsequent candle rekindling the ancient mystery of how the Temple was purified and the wicks of the menorah burned for 8 days even though there was only enough of the sacred oil for one day’s lighting.
In each case, we witness the Light of the Divine shining through brightly in the midst of kindness, courage, strength and hope that something larger and more powerful than us is guiding the way. Don’t miss one moment of the Miracle!!
On behalf of the Universal Brotherhood Board of Directors, our Founders, Rick and Jeni Prigmore, and our Executive Director, Robin Morini, may the many Blessings and astonishing Miracles of this Holiday Season richly reward you for your service to all of Mankind. You are The Light of The World.
Blessings to you and to all those you hold dear,
Rev. Rosemary Cathcart, President