Tag Archives: Religion

The 12/23/13 Joy Jar

23 Dec

It is just over a day until Christmas and moi will be celebrating Christmas and reflecting upon the end of the ‘Joy Jar’ exercise. Aside from persistence, reflection, balance and of course, gratitude – the purpose of the exercise; moi learned quite a bit of values from reading the thoughts of a kaleidoscope of people and philosophies. Moi kept returning to her Christian faith and it’s aspirational values. The true message of Christmas is the Return of the Savior. The Return of the Savior is significant for Christians because each of us is a Child of God. Knowing that we belong to the Father gives each a peace that passes all understanding. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the fact moi is a Child of God.

Christianity is a love relationship between a child of god and his Maker through the Son Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Adrian Rogers

Do you see that God’s sometimes painful dealings with you are but an extension of his fatherhood? Do you understand that his rebuke only affirms your glorious position as a child of god, who loves you enough to place his disciplining hand on your life?
Charles Stanley

Be encouraged, child of god. He loves you even in the midst of your pain. He loves you even when you don’t love Him. He loves you when you feel utterly alone. He loves you with an everlasting love. Your suffering can take many things away form you, your health, your happiness, your prosperity, your popularity, your friends, your career, even your family. But there’s one thing suffering can’t take away: it can’t take away the love of God.
Ray Pritchard

It is better to be the child of god than king of the whole world.
St Aloysius Gonzaga

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of god. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Maryanne Williamson

“God makes three requests of his children: Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have, now”
African-American Proverb

“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.”
A. W. Tozer

“Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealously, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.”
Og Mandino

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.
Marianne Williamson

The 12/21/13 Joy Jar

21 Dec

It is just a few days until Christmas and moi will be celebrating Christmas and reflecting upon the end of the ‘Joy Jar’ exercise. Aside from persistence, reflection, balance and of course, gratitude – the purpose of the exercise; moi learned quite a bit of values from reading the thoughts of a kaleidoscope of people and philosophies. Moi kept returning to her Christian faith and it’s aspirational values. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is those aspirational Christian values.

Matt Perman wrote What Are Christian Values?

How about if we model for the world a more complete picture of Christian values, which would include things like this:
 Radical generosity. Just like Jesus, who did not merely tithe but gave everything he had (2 Corinthians 8:9).
 Love. Ditching the self-protective mindset and putting others before ourselves, making their good our aim in all things.
 Risk. Making the good of others a higher priority than our own safety, security, and comfort, and taking risks to bring benefit to them.
 Creativity. Christians are to be creative! And to be a boring Christian is a sin (that’s an implication of the term “salt” in Colossians 4:6).
 Excellence. Slack work is a form of vandalism (Proverbs 18:9). Christians are not to be clock-watchers in their work, but to do things well and with competence.
 Initiative. Taking ownership for making things better, rather than sitting around watching and complaining.
 Leadership. Instead of criticizing, leading and setting a good example.
 Humble authenticity.
 Global and multi-ethnic vision.
 Ambition. Not for our own comfort, but for the good of others.
These are all Christian values. But would the world know to name even one of these as Christian? We have a lot of work to do.
http://whatsbestnext.com/2012/08/what-are-christian-values/

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.”
Mother Teresa, A Gift for God: Prayers and Meditations

DISTURB US, O LORD

Sir Frances Drake: “Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity; and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim. Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; and to push into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.”
(From a sermon by Glenn Durham, Christian Heroes, 8/3/2010)

“Remember!–It is Christianity to do good always–even to those who do evil to us. It is Christianity to love our neighbours as ourself, and to do to all men as we would have them do to us. It is Christianity to be gentle, merciful and forgiving, and to keep those qualities quiet in our own hearts, and never make a boast of them or of our prayers or of our love of God, but always to show that we love Him by humbly trying to do right in everything. If we do this, and remember the life and lessons of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and try to act up to them, we may confidently hope that God will forgive us our sins and mistakes, and enable us to live and die in peace.”
Charles Dickens

The 12/14/13 Joy Jar

15 Dec

Today is well into the Christmas Season and as we enter the last couple of weeks before Christmas, it is good to reflect on the season. Daily Christian quotes have a great series of reflections about the Advent Season. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is reflecting on Advent.

The event of Christ is the only event in human history that promises relocation and centering, meaning and purpose. This promise and its fulfillment evoke passionate and heartfelt praise and thanks, especially for those aware of their own brokenness and the healing which Christ brings into their lives.
Robert Webber

A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes… and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.
Michelle Blake

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child himself.

Charles Dickens

In spite of the many benefits God has blessed us with, how many times do we complain about little difficulties and trials? We lose sight of the big picture and fail to appreciate the really important things. Just as we cannot benefit from a wrapped gift under a Christmas tree until we open it, so gratitude can be seen as our way of opening the gift of God’s love intended by all the small and big positive events of our lives.
Ronda De Sola Chervin

As we prepare for our traditional celebrations, let us remember those who will not be looking forward to this festival. Let us remember too how Jesus identified with the oppressed and the homeless. Let the joy of the festival touch more of the people of our world this year than ever before. May God be glorified and may people of good will once again experience His peace.
Denzil John

For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all; No palace too great, no cottage too small.
Phillips Brooks

Often times when we think of becoming a Christian, we think of what it is doing for us – that we are reconciling in our relationship with our creator that we are having our sins forgiven, that we are being saved… I think that the call to receive Christ is more like Gabriel’s visit to Mary where he asks us, will you carry the Christ, will you carry the salvation of the world?
Mike Wilkins

The way to Christmas lies through an ancient gate….It is a little gate, child-high, child-wide, and there is a password: “Peace on earth to men of good will.” May you, this Christmas, become as a little child again and enter into His kingdom.
Angelo Patri

The spirit of Christmas needs to superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.
Stuart Briscoe

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.
Howard Thurman

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He could live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart. What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary.
Joe Gatuslao

Immanuel will bring lasting, true peace. (Isa 7:14) Not just an end to physical war, although that is what we usually think of when we think of peace. No, this is a deeper peace. A peace between us and God. True reconciliation between the Creator and his creatures. Through Immanuel life for us and his death for us we will be at peace with God. This isn’t our doing. We didn’t make the peace. We didn’t even take the first step. God did. Because that is God’s attitude toward us: always seeking, always restoring, always saving. Immanuel comes to show us that we matter, each and every one of us, to God. Jesus Christ, our Lord, and God’s Son, is Immanuel – God with us. Jesus was born a child and lived among us, died our death on the cross, all so that we would have peace with God, from this time forth and forever more. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts has done this.
Charles P St-Onge

When Christ entered our world, he didn’t come to brighten our Decembers, but to transform our lives.
Rich Miller
http://dailychristianquote.com/dcqchristmas2.html

For more information about Advent, The Season of Advent: Anticipation and Hope http://www.cresourcei.org/cyadvent.html

The 12/13/13 Joy Jar

13 Dec

Today is Friday the 13th and some folk believe that the day is unlucky. The ‘Joy Jar’ exercise was one of finding something to be grateful for every day. Grateful people are not superstitious because they are hopeful and no matter the circumstances, there is something to be thankful for.

Philippians 4:11
New International Version
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is overcoming superstition with hope.

“If a black cat crosses your path, it signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”
Groucho Marx

“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

“What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears.”
Alice Walker

“The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.”
Francis Bacon

“Superstition [is] cowardice in the face of the Divine.”
Theophrastus

“Superstition has been defined as the use of a form whose significance has been forgotten.”
Dion Fortune, Esoteric Orders and Their Work and The Training and Work of the Initiate

“Mankind accepts good fortune as his due, but when bad occurs, he thinks it was aimed at him, done to him, a hex, a curse, a punishment by his deity for some transgression, as though his god were a petty storekeeper, counting up the day’s receipts.”
Sheri S. Tepper, The Visitor

“It will seem to many persons very inconsistent with their ideas of the dignity of a spirit that they should appear and act in the manner I have described, and shall describe further; and I have heard it objected that we cannot suppose God would permit the dead to return merely to frighten the living, and that it is showing Him little reverence to imagine He would suffer them to come on such trifling errands, or demean themselves in so undignified a fashion. But God permits men of all degrees of wickedness, and of every kind of absurdity, to exist, and to harass and disturb the earth, whilst they expose themselves to its obloquy or its ridicule.”
Catherine Crowe, The Night Side of Nature

“There is a faculty in man that will acknowledge the unseen. He may scout and scare religion from him; but if he does, superstition perches near.”
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, The Haunted Baronet And Others: Ghost Stories 1861-70

“You may substitute knowledge for superstition without satisfying the needs that drive people into superstition’s arms.”
Susan Neiman, Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists

“We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.”
Arne Tiselius

“When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself.”
Mark Twain, The Autobiography of Mark Twain

In the end, people are left with empty superstition or acknowledging that there is a higher POWER:

“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
Abraham Lincoln

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C. S. Lewis

The 12/11/13 Joy Jar

12 Dec

Moi will end the “Joy Jar’ exercise on December 25, when we celebrate the birth of Emmanuel, God among us. It is a Season of hope and beginning. During the course of the past year, moi has seen the Healing Power of God. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Healing Power of God.

The wish for healing has always been half of health.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

RPM Ministries shared The Top Three Dozen Quotes on God’s Healing for Life’s Losses:

Quotes of Note for Finding Hope When You’re Hurting

“When tragedy strikes, we enter a crisis of faith. We either move toward God or away from God.”

“There is no human experience which cannot be put on the anvil of a lively relationship with God and man, and battered into a meaningful shape.”

“Christianity doesn’t in any way lessen suffering. It enables you to take it, to face it, to work through it, and eventually convert it.”

“God’s Word empowers us not to evade suffering, but to face suffering face-to-face with God.”

“In suffering, God is not getting back at you; He is getting you back to Himself.”

“Shared sorrow is endurable sorrow.”

“No grieving; no healing. Know grieving; know healing.”

“We live in a fallen world and it often falls on us.”

“The world is a mess and it messes with our minds.”

“Spiritual friendship with God results in 20/20 spiritual vision from God.”

“To deny or diminish suffering is to arrogantly refuse to be humbled. It is to reject dependence upon God.”

“Crying out to God empties us so there is more room in us for God.”

“Faith does not demand the removal of suffering; faith desires endurance in suffering.”

“Faith understands that what can’t be cured, can be endured.”

“Comfort experiences the presence of God in the presence of suffering—a presence that empowers me to survive scars and plants the seed of hope that I will yet thrive.”

“In this life, your scar may not go away, but neither will His. He understands. He cares. He’s there.”

“Spiritual emergencies can produce spiritual emergence.”

“Faith looks back to the past recalling God’s mighty works. Hope looks ahead remembering God’s coming reward.”

“In Christ, loss is never final. Christ’s resurrection is the first-fruit of every resurrection.”

“When we wait on God, we cling to God’s rope of hope, even when we can’t see it.”

“Hope waits. Hope is the refusal to demand heaven now.”

“Waiting is refusing to take over while refusing to give up. Waiting refuses self-rescue.”

“In Christ, we move from victims to victors.”

“God is a ‘time God.’ He does not come before time. He does not come after time. He comes at just the right time.”

“Faith is entrusting myself to God’s larger purposes, good plans, and eternal perspective.”

“Faith is seeing life with spiritual eyes instead of eyeballs only.”

“Through faith, I look at suffering, not with rose colored glasses, but with faith eyes, with Cross-eyes, with 20/20 spiritual vision.”

“Instead of our perspective shrinking, suffering is the exact time when we must listen most closely, when we must lean over to hear the whisper of God.”

“True, God shouts to us in our pain, but His answers, as with Elijah, often come to us in whispered still small voices amid the thunders of the world.”

“God’s eternal, heavenly story doesn’t obliterate my earthly, painful story; it gives it meaning.”

“Grace math teaches us that present suffering plus God’s character equals future glory. The equation we use is the Divine perspective.”

“Worship is wanting God more than wanting relief.”

“Worship is finding God even when you don’t find answers.”

“Worship is walking with God in the dark and having Him as the light of your soul.”

“Every problem is an opportunity to know God better, and our primary battle is to know God well.”

“Problems can either shove us far from God or drag us kicking and screaming closer to Him.”
http://www.rpmministries.org/2010/06/the-top-three-dozen-quotes-on-god%E2%80%99s-healing/

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. says it best:

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

It the end of it all, we are left with God is good.

The 12/02/13 Joy Jar

1 Dec

Advent began yesterday on Sunday. Share Faith has a great explanation in What is Advent?

Prior to the Nativity Celebration of Christmas Day, Advent refers to the holy season of the Christian church which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It begins on the Fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on the 25th of December. As the commencement of the Christian year, the Advent Season holds a special place in the Christian tradition.
The History of Advent
The word “advent” comes from the Latin term for “coming,” and refers to the first and second Comings of Jesus Christ, in the senses of Savior and Judge, respectively. The first authoritative mention of Advent appears in the Synod of Lerida (AD 524), and the season has been recognized since as the beginning of the western ecclesiastical (church) year. The celebration originally began as a period of fasting, similar to Lent. Although the practice of abstention was later relaxed, Advent retains the spirit of atonement and penitence.
Advent Wreaths and Calendars
In western cultures, the four Sundays of Advent are often celebrated with Advent wreaths decorated with four candles. Made from evergreens, the circular wreaths symbolize eternal life and the endless nature of God’s love. Three of the candles are purple or blue while the fourth is typically rose-colored or pink.
One candle is lit each Sunday of the season. The rose-colored candle is lit on the third Sunday, which is considered to be a more festive day than the others. On Christmas Day, a fifth candle (known as the “Christ Candle” and often white in color) is lit in the center of the wreath, or may replace it altogether.
Advent calendars are also popular during the season. About 25 small compartments are created, often through the use of multiple sheets of cardboard or through sewn pockets. These are filled with seasonal messages, religious pictures, small chocolates, stories, or toys, depending upon the particular calendar.
Advent Traditions and Customs around the World
There are many ways Advent is celebrated. In English history, poor women would carry “Advent images” — two dolls dressed as Christ and the Virgin Mary. Upon showing these images to passersby, the women would be gifted with small amounts of money or trinkets. Failing to donate was considered bad luck.
In Normandy, children under 12 were sent through farmers’ fields with torches, setting fire to straw to drive off vermin. Italy supported the tradition of bagpipe players entering into Rome during the last days of the season. They played music before shrines of the Blessed Virgin, just as shepherds played pipes at the manger to honor the Messiah’s coming.
The Season of Advent remains one of the most important times of the Christian year. It celebrates the blessing of the birth of Christ, and reminds the faithful of his eventual return.
“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes – and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes (German Lutheran Pastor and Theologian. His involvement in a plot to overthrow Adolf Hitler led to his imprisonment and execution. 1906-1945) http://www.sharefaith.com/guide/Christian-Holidays/advent_season.html

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Advent Season.

Healthy Spirituality has some great insights about Advent:

“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”
Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac

“The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s [back] fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.”
Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas

“You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time, Want us to wait. For the right time in which to discover Who we are, where we are to go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So thank you … for the waiting time.”
John Bell, quoted in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers, compiled by Dorothy M. Stewart

“Christmas is fast approaching. And now that Christ has aroused our seasonal expectations, he’ll soon fulfill them all!”
St. Augustine, Sermon 51

“God is coming! God is coming! All the element we swim in, this existence, Echoes ahead the advent. God is coming! Can’t you feel it?”
Walter Wangerin, Jr., from “The Signs of the Times,” in The Manger Is Empty

“How can God stoop lower than to come and dwell with a poor humble soul? Which is more than if he had said, such a one should dwell with him; for a beggar to live at court is not so much as the king to dwell with him in his cottage.”
William Gurnall

“Advent: the time to listen for footsteps – you can’t hear footsteps when
you’re running yourself.”
Bill McKibben

“This Advent we look to the Wise Men to teach us where to focus our attention. We set our sights on things above, where God is. We draw closer to Jesus… When our Advent journey ends, and we reach the place where Jesus resides in Bethlehem, may we, like the Wise Men, fall on our knees and adore him as our true and only King.”
Mark Zimmermann in Our Advent Journey

“One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.”
Michelle Blake, The Tentmaker

“Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience.”
Handel Brown

http://www.healthyspirituality.org/2009/12/advent-15-inspirational-quotes-about.html

The 11/26/13 Joy Jar

26 Nov

Moi knows who she IS. She is a conservative Christian who follows a Jewish carpenter named Jesus. Jonathan Mizrahi wrote on his blog, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving:

A once in eternity overlap:
Next year features an anomaly for American Jews – The first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving, on 11/28/2013 (meaning the first night of Hanukkah is actually the night before Thanksgiving). I was curious how often this happens. It turns out that it has never happened before…and it will never happen again.
(Correction: it happened once before, in 1888: see addendum below.)

Thanksgiving is set as the fourth Thursday in November, meaning the latest it can be is 11/28. 11/28 is also the earliest Hanukkah can be. The Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19×7 = 133 years. Looking back, this is approximately correct – the last time it would have happened is 1861. However, Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863. So, it has never happened before. Why won’t it ever happen again?

The reason is because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years (not bad for a many centuries old calendar!) This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29. The last time Hanukkah falls on 11/28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday). Therefore, 2013 is the only time Hanukkah will ever overlap with Thanksgiving. You can see the start date of Hanukkah as a function of time in the attached plots. In the long timescale plot, the drift forward is clear.

Of course, if the Jewish calendar is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the Gregorian calendar, until it loops all the way back to where it is now. So, Hanukkah will again fall on Thursday, 11/28…in the year 79811. http://jonathanmizrahi.blogspot.com/2013/01/hanukkah-and-thanksgiving-once-in.html

Many Christians acknowledge the Jewish roots of their faith. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has a great explanation of Hanukkah:

The Importance of Hanukkah
I once had a Christian pastor friend who said he thinks that Hanukkah is really a critical holiday for Christians, too. Why, I asked — I knew about the reference in John chapter 10, but nothing more. He said that if the Jewish Maccabees had not risen up against their oppressors, then secularism and paganism would have controlled the Jewish people. And if it would have controlled the Jewish people, Jesus would not have been able to be born as a Jew, to live a Jewish life, to see the Temple, and have the Bible. Judaism would have been wiped out.
He’s right that Hanukkah is a very important holiday. There is an attempt in every generation to rid the world of the Jewish people. And if not, there are those who want to accommodate and negotiate and be flexible. Then there are those who say they can do that sometimes, but there are times when you must draw a line in the sand. When they try to take away my faith I cannot accommodate, I cannot adjust, and I cannot compromise. The Maccabees drew that line in the sand, and they triumphed. If not for their triumph, Judaism would have been gotten rid of by those authorities, and Jesus the Jew would not have been around 165 years later… http://www.ifcj.org/site/PageNavigator/eng/inside/hanukkah

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is a recognition of the Jewish roots of moi’s faith.

Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
Ablaze on evening’s forehead o’er the earth,
And add each night a lustre till afar
An eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.
Emma Lazarus, “The Feast of Lights”

Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart
Hannah Senesh

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

The miracle, of course, was not that the oil for the sacred light –
in a little cruse – lasted as long as they say;
but that the courage of the Maccabees lasted to this day:
let that nourish my flickering spirit.
Charles Reznikoff, “Meditations on the Fall and Winter Holidays”

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
Buddha

We have focused on the miracle-thing and I think we often overlook the message of Hanukkah. To me, the core of the holiday is the cleaning of the temple…. The accomplishment was in restoring the temple to the purpose for which it was built. Now think of the temple as a symbol. Perhaps it represents my life. The world has tried to use me for its own (perhaps good, but none-the-less extrinsic) purposes. But now I can rededicate myself to my own original purpose.
Ralph Levy, “Hanukkah – Another View”

Let the straight flower bespeak its purpose in straightness – to seek the light.
Let the crooked flower bespeak its purpose in crookedness – to seek the light.
Let the crookedness and straightness bespeak the light.
Allen Ginsberg, “Psalm III”

I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.
Jewish Proverb

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Chinese Proverb

Even our misfortunes are a part of our belongings.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,

The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle.
Robert Altinger