by Pastor Tim Burt
May God’s richest blessings reach your heart through the love of Jesus in the days ahead! Happy Thanksgiving to All!
1 Chronicles 16:8 “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people”
The Words of President Abraham Lincoln
It seems as though there has been a great effort made over the last decade to hinder anyone from a child on up from freely talking about Almighty God whom we are thankful to for every good thing in our life.
A poem on Thanksgiving from a child in school today might read like this:
Thanks You Know Who…
The pilgrims came here seeking freedom of you know what.
When they landed, they gave thanks to you know who.
Because of them, we can worship each Sunday, you know where.
May we please on this Thanksgiving remember one of our past great leaders who had no reservations about speaking of the thanks and prayer due to Almighty God who has blessed our nation.
These are the words of President Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self- sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
With this attitude, may we plan something with those we love, to give bold repentance and thanksgiving to our God who has blessed our great nation and is the only one who can put it back on track!” – President Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863
Psalm 94:17 (NLT) “Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave”
Happy Chanukah to our Jewish friends.
It is the year 167 BCE, and the persecution of Jews by the Greeks is in full swing when the Greek troops show up in the town of Modi’in (today on the highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv). To crush the Jews and Judaism, the Greeks demand that Jews sacrifice a pig to the Greek gods.
The Jews are outnumbered, a few thousand civilian troops compared to the Greek army of 40,000 professional soldiers and a herd of war elephants, the tanks of the ancient world. The Jews of Israel are inferior in numbers, training and equipment, but they have something greater.
A tiny Jewish force, led by Mattathias and his five sons Yohanan, Shimon, Judah, Eleazar, and Yonaton take on the Greek army. The oldest son Judah is nicknamed Maccabee, which is an acronym for mi komocho ba’alim Hashem, “who is like you among the powers O God,” – the battle cry of the Jewish people.
After three years of a twenty-five year battle, the Jews re-conquer Jerusalem and the Holy Temple, but they find the sanctuary defiled and desecrated. They purify the Temple and rededicate it and when they ready to light a makeshift menorah, there is only one vial of holy oil, enough for a single day. Miraculously the light stays lit for eight days, the time it takes to press and deliver new oil.
On Chanukah, which begins on the 25th of Kislev (this year Thanksgiving), we celebrate two miracles: 1) the heroic victory against a vastly superior army; and 2) the rededication of our spiritual center, the Temple in Jerusalem. Although the military victory may be more impressive for history texts, for the Jewish people the light of the menorah, the eternal flame that is our inner strength is the greater celebration.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Chanukah to our Jewish friends from the Burt family to each and every one of you! God bless you richly!
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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