Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And They Took Up Stones Again to Stone Him

Tonight was the last night of Hanukkah. It was a beautiful celebration. Thanks to all who attended. Thanks especially to Daniel for hosting, and to Owen for cooking the latkes.

We talked today, as we sat around watching the candles burn out, about some of the other Jewish celebrations. As I've said before, if I wasn't LDS, I'd be Jewish. They have such incredibly beautiful, richly symbolic holidays.

Tonight we read the account of Christ celebrating Hanukkah, and His sermon in Solomon's porch of the temple at Jerusalem (John 10:22-end). It's one of the few times in the gospels that Christ announces his divine Sonship and Messianic mission. It's a beautiful sermon.

A beautiful sermon that almost got Him killed.

As Daniel pointed out, you know the Pharisees understood Him because they picked up rocks to stone Him. The Savior handled the situation with a remarkable wit, considering what a dangerous situation He was in.

I thought of how appropriate it was that Christ, on this day of dedication and celebration of the miracle of light, and in the court of the temple, would announce His godhood. He is the light of the world. He is the Holy One of Israel, the one dedicated to atone for us, and the One to whom the temple had been dedicated. How appropriate, then, that He should make such an announcement at such a feast.

How appropriate, too, that we should celebrate Hanukkah at this time of year, a time of giving gifts to the Savior, of New Year's resolutions--in short, of re-dedicating ourselves to the Savior whose birth we celebrate. He is the light of the world. His is the miraculous light that we celebrate. His is the cause to which we dedicate ourselves, and all that we have and are.

On the last day of the original feast of dedication, the temple altar was dedicated. May we, on this final day of celebration, dedicate ourselves to sacrifice to the Lord whose altar and temple it was.
Happy Hanukkah, all!

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