Holiday Message from GAGOP Faith-Based Outreach Chairman Terri GreenPosted by chris on Dec 4, 2012
Dear Fellow Georgians,
It’s hard to believe that 2012 is almost over and 2013 is upon us, and the season of Hanukkah, a Jewish Holiday known as the Festival of Lights, and the advent season of Christmas, is here.
Hanukkah is a happy, festive, joyous eight-day Jewish celebration that starts on Kislev 25 on the Hebrew calendar (same as November-December on the Gregorian calendar). It is also called the Festival of Lights. The word Hanukkah means “dedication.”
Hanukkah is an important feast for the Jewish people, for it reminds them of how God miraculously delivered their ancestors when they were persecuted.
On the first day, the shammash, the prominent branch of the Hanukkah Menorah, the nine-branched lamp is lighted. Theshammash, which means “servant,” is usually in the center and is the tallest of the branches of the menorah. From it each of the other branches is lighted on subsequent days, until all are lighted.
The Jewish people celebrated this great eight-day festival of Hanukkah, sometimes calling it the “Festival of the Dedication of the Altar,” “the Memorial of the Purification of the Temple,” and the “Festival of the Lights.”
As people of faith in Psalm 122:6 we are told: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.
For Christians it is an anticipation and hope for us to prepare our hearts for the birth of the Savior. Christmas can be a time where there is a sense of anticipation, and hope. It can be a time for reflection on the year past, and what a year it was for our country. It is a season and a time for a thankful and humble heart. Most importantly it is the birth of Jesus Christ, which gives us focus for the year to come, and a promise for the future that we can place our confidence in. (For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6)
Whatever gifts you may have waiting for you this Christmas, they pale in comparison to God’s gift for you. We have a promise, that He knows all, controls all, and our Hope is in Him. Jeremiah 29:11 says: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
C.S Lewis wrote: “Once in our world, a Stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.”
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:8-12
As the Faith Based Outreach Chairman for the Georgia Republican Party, I pray that this season blesses you and your loved ones, with peace, joy and hope for 2013. May you have a heart of gratitude for all that God has blessed us with, as individuals, and as a country. America is the land of the free and the home of brave because our Military men and women have kept us safe through their sacrifice in service to our country.
Happy Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas to all.