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[ Paraphrased Quotes & Stories ]
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Paraphrased Quotes & Stories From Jesus

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Hanukkah and Christmas

The celebration of Hanukkah and Christmas  is coming up this month.

The Hanukkah celebration came from the actions that were taken by the son of the powerful Syrian king,  Antiochus III who took Jerusalem in 198 B.C.,  and was welcomed by the Jews because he gave treasures to the Temple.

Twenty nine years later between 169-168 B.C., his son,  Antiochus IV (Epiphanes),  ruled Jerusalem in a cruel manner,  desecrating the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar,  and prohibiting Jewish sacrifices,   circumcision,   the observance of the Sabbath,   and killing any Jew possessing a copy of the Holy Scriptures.

These outrages lead to war with the Jews in which the Syrian armies were repeatedly defeated by the brilliant Judas Maccabees.

Jerusalem was delivered from this cruel king by Maccabees in the month of Chislev (our month of December in 165 B.C.) This time of deliverance has been celebrated by the Jews as Hanukkah, or the Feast of Lights.

It is told that after the forces of Antiochus had been driven from the Temple, the sons of Israel went up to the Temple and rebuilt its gates and purified the Temple from the dead bodies and from the defilement.  And when they were ready to re-dedicate the temple, they sought after pure olive oil to light the lamps,  but the Maccabees discovered that almost all of the ritual olive oil had been profaned.

They found only a single container that was still sealed by the High Priest,  with only enough oil to keep the menorah in the Temple lit for a single day. The miracle was that when they used this, it burned for eight days. This was the time it took to have new oil pressed and made ready.

Now the Jews celebrate by lighting the nine candles of the Menorah,  one called a “shamish” which in Hebrew means the “attendant”.  It stays lit constantly and is used to light the others until all eight candles are burning.

Even though Hanukkah celebrations now include gifts, the readings and blessings used at Hanukkah are the same readings Jesus did in celebrating this feast.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, “the Christ child.”  Born of Mary, and placed in her by God’s Holy Spirit.

And the angel Gabriel said, “For this reason the holy child will be called the “Son Of God”.

Joseph was the husband of Mary, in name only,  until after Jesus was born.  All this had happened to fulfill what the LORD had said through the prophet Isaiah  concerning the birth of the Messiah:“A virgin shall be with child and give birth to a son,  and they shall call him Immanuel”,   which is found in Isaiah 7:14, a name which means “God is with us”.

And though this happened more than 2000 years ago,  the whole world still celebrates Christmas in one form or another.

Some people celebrate with an evergreen tree that represents everlasting life because it does not die,  even during the harshest winter and represents the life we have in Christ.   (John 3:16)

Some people say the triangular shape of the tree has been used to represent the Holy Trinity - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The direction of the branches point upward, reflecting our praise to God!

The candles or lights on the tree signify how Jesus called us out of darkness because he is the light unto the world.

The star placed on the top of the tree represents the star the wise men followed to Bethlehem.

The gifts the wise men brought to Jesus represent the gifts under the tree that are given in love to each other and a reminder that God gave us the greatest gift. Our salvation, through his son Jesus!

And finally, we must remember that our savior Jesus Christ was a Jew. Every Christian was born from the Jewish religion and we hold true the many things that were revealed to us by GOD in the Old Testament.

So celebrate Christmas in a way that brings you closer to GOD, your Creator.

And now, here is my song for both Hanukkah and Christmas.  It’s called Invitation, the Hanukkah – Christmas song.  It shows that both those of the Jewish faith and the Christian faith are waiting for the coming of the Messiah!


A song titled
by Carl Vasta


Enjoy Christmas Songs With Christmas Spirit
Performed By Carl Vasta

Christmas CD Front

Christmas CD Back

The  Whole  'IT'S  CHRISTMAS'
MP3  and / or  Video  ( 10 songs )


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