Muslims and Jews follow a lunar calendar, so their holidays move around a lot. But last year the birthday of Mohammed fell on Christmas Eve. And this year, the first night of Hanukkah falls on Christmas Eve for the first time in 111 years. For the children of Abraham, that's a remarkable convergence. So I've asked my husband, Hank, to tell the story of Hanukkah, light the Menorah and say the blessing in Hebrew. Then I'll tell you why.
So, what do we say to them? How can we bring them the Good News of Christmas? How can we assure strangers and friends that life can begin again? Preachers, teachers, counselors: we all rely on words. But sometimes words aren't enough. Yes, in the beginning was the Word, but we're not here because of the Word made words! We are here because of the Word made flesh. We worship Jesus Christ. And that's where you and I come in. We are the Body of Christ, so you be his kind hands. I'll be his sure feet. You be his clear eyes. I'll be his sharp ears. You be his loving arms. I'll be his strong back. Together, we'll get our loved ones to Bethlehem so that their world and ours can begin again.
If recessions, droughts, hurricanes, and wildfires can't keep Christmas from coming, what makes you think you can? Nothing that is going on in your life right now, nothing that is going on in our country or world right now, can keep God's love from coming in the flesh. Christmas comes even when we don't have any money or any energy and when we feel like we are losing our sanity. Even if the worst happens and we have to cancel the celebration, God's not going to cancel the incarnation.