This year, Christmas and Hanukkah fall on the same day. Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration which tells the story of how their sacred Temple in Jerusalem had been conquered by a hostile force, desecrated, vandalised and ultimately fell into disuse. Hanukkah celebrates the cleansing and rededication of this sacred Temple by the heroic Maccabees.
Today, we live in a very broken world. A quick survey of the news headlines reminds us that like the temple in the time of the Maccabees, our world is in dire need of repair and cleansing. As we also think of our families and loved ones at this time of year, we can also see many broken families that likewise are in need of serious repair.
And this brings us to the Christmas story, of an Infant who was born to bring good news to a broken world. The good news is that what was broken and desolate - whether in our personal lives and families or on the international scale - can be cleansed, repaired and restored. This is why His birth was greeted with such joy and rejoicing at the time, and is still celebrated to this day.
May this Christmas/Hanukkah and Festive season be a time of joy, refreshing and rejoicing for all of you, and may your New Year be filled with hope and purpose in the Messiah.