Mark 13:26 NRSVt

Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. (Mark 13:26 NRSV)

In our scripture reading today, it says, "Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory." This is our promise that God will not forget us. Much of the New Testament was written during the time of terrible persecution. The Christians were burned alive in Nero's gardens and thrown into the gladiator pits. Much of the New Testament was written to the believers to say: Hold on! God has not forgotten us. Christ will come.

During this special season of Advent and Christmas, our Jewish friends will be celebrating Hanukkah. Their celebration is a celebration of lights. They will be lighting each candle on a menorah, a nine branched candle holder. They will be celebrating an event that took place before Christ. It occurred during a time of Roman oppression, when after an impressive fight to recapture the temple at Jerusalem, the Jewish people wanted to relight the menorah at the altar and to keep it going 24 hours a day. They had no candles, though. So they used the purest olive oil. Unfortunately, they only had enough to last one day. They knew that it takes eight days to prepare more olive oil of that purity. Undaunted, however, they lit the menorah on the first day and filled it with a one day supply of oil. They believed that by faith it would last until some more could be produced. It did! The one day supply burned for eight days.

Hanukkah, for our Jewish friends, is a sign in their history that God does not forget God's own people. Christmas also says that God has not forgotten us.

Dear Jesus, thank you for reminding me in this season that I am not forgotten by my Father in heaven. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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