/ / Articles

Holidays and The Speculative

The tyrannical king had just taken over the beloved city and was in the process of profaning the place of worship. Declaring the house of the One True God now a place of worship for a pagan god, the king […]
| Dec 7, 2006 | No comments |

The tyrannical king had just taken over the beloved city and was in the process of profaning the place of worship. Declaring the house of the One True God now a place of worship for a pagan god, the king sacrificed an abominable animal on the altar where only holy offerings had been made and desecrated the walls of the house of worship with pagan symbols and excrement. Some of the people, fearful for their lives and those of their families, bowed and worshiped the new god—after all, had their own God not betrayed them and allowed this to happen? But some who had been commanded at swordpoint to participate in the desecration, refused, and fighting back, escaped.

Enraged by this insult not only to their people but to their God, a band of valiant warriors who styled themselves as “the Hammers” eventually won back not only their house of worship, but the city as well. After cleaning and repairing the house of worship, they wanted to relight the “Eternal Flame” that burned as a symbol of their God, but all they could find unprofaned of the special oil was one small flask—only a day’s worth—and the process of making the oil took eight days.

They decided to fill the great, golden lamp with what they had—and start the oil making anyway. Incredibly, after they lit the lamp, the oil for only one day lasted for eight, until the fresh was ready.

Recognize this story yet? The year was 165 BC, and the tyrannical king was Antiochus IV, the Greek who sacrificed a pig in the Temple and ordered an altar to be raised to Zeus. The valiant warriors were the Maccabees, who labored to restore their desecrated Temple in Jerusalem and set right once again their worship of the God Most High. The miracle of one day’s oil lasting for eight sparked a commemoration that spans the centuries and is known as the modern holiday of Hanukkah (or Chanukah), meaning “Rededication,” and also called the Festival of Lights.

Speculative fiction, or truth?

Roughly two hundred years later, an itinerant preacher from Nazareth in Judea pays the Temple a visit during this festival, and the event garners a tiny, but nevertheless intriguing, mention in the holy book of the Christian faith …

To be continued next week …

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of