These three winter months mean different things to different people. In the religious sense, while we as basically Christians enjoy Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Jesus and a new light coming into the world 2,016 years ago, Judaism, the religion Jesus was born into, celebrates the festival of light called Chanukah, that Jesus would have enjoyed too. Jesus who grew up to be a miracle worker must have thrilled as a child to the then 500 year-old story of how the oil in the temple menorah, a 7 branched ‘candlestick’ symbolising God’s presence, had only been enough to light it for a few hours, and yet it burned bright for the whole week. He would have learned how the invading Syrians had placed statues of Greek gods in it 3 years before, and tried to make the Jews worship them, as well as a statue of their king, Antiochus. This was a step too far – and led to a bloody revolt, victory, and the recapture of the temple in Jerusalem. It had then required reconstruction and consecration, and then this miracle occurred, commemorated by Chanukah.
We know that many other belief systems have festivals at this time of year, and we can only just imagine those ancient primitive living conditions and hardships before the advent of modern luxuries like electricity and modern medicine. And many were the superstitions surrounding the seasons of the year, the sun setting and moon rising, with no knowledge of the global shape of our world or our planetary system, that have given rise to some practices that endure to this day.
Then we have the New Year – again based on the chronology of Jesus’s birth, it will turn 2017 six nights later. Jesus would count that as being 5,777 until 9 months after that, when it will become 5,778.
We like to think that our Christian Spiritualist practices are based on respect for others’ beliefs, while proving that things we call miracles do still happen. We talk about the miracle of birth, of nature, of the world in which we live and the myriad physical manifestations of God.
St Paul says in his letters to the church in Corinth writing in about 55 AD – or in his calendar, 3,816; ‘If there is a natural body there is also a spiritual body. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to men (everyone) for their benefit.’ He also states that ‘God has given miracles and gifts of healing.’
We practice mediumship/communication with those in spirit, and healing, as part of ourreligion. All are welcome to come to our meetings in the Village Hall every Thursday evening to hear a short address, followed by a demonstration by guest mediums. Healing is also offered afterwards.
We pray that you and yours have a wonder filled winter season with all good things.