Dear Clients and Friends:
Season’s greetings to you this holiday season!
As is our tradition during December, we want to publicly thank our Creator God for His love and faithfulness! The Holiday Season is a very special time for the Jewish and Christian faiths because they share spiritual beliefs rooted in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and they both celebrate the experience of faithfulness of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Following is a brief summary of why each celebrates.
In Hebrew, the word “Hanukkah” means “dedication.” In 168 B.C.E. the Greeks seized the Jews’ holy temple and dedicated it to the worship of Zeus. Some Jews were afraid of the Greek soldiers and obeyed them, but most decided to take back the temple and rededicate it to the worship of God. After three years of fighting, the Jews defeated the Greek army, despite having fewer men and weapons. After rebuilding the Temple they decided to have a large dedication ceremony. They wanted to light the menorah but could only find enough oil to light the menorah for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days – just enough time for them to locate new oil to keep the menorah lit. Today Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting candles in a menorah replica every night, thus commemorating God’s miracle and faithfulness.
In Isaiah, the Bible speaks of a coming Messiah “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God…Prince of Peace.” The New Testament of The Bible says Jesus Christ is that Messiah, a descendant of Abraham through the line of David and the “only begotten Son of God.” The Bible says that God sent his Son to earth because “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Incredibly, those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and want to belong to his family are adopted into his family.
At Christmas followers of Jesus Christ celebrate God’s faithfulness to his promise to send his Son to live with us. His followers believe Christ came to live a new way and to show us how to live with one another and with God his Abba, his Daddy—not only to live in peace but to grant those who follow Jesus the right to become God’s heirs! And that is what his followers are, heirs.
We hope the following words of truth and encouragement from Isaiah and Luke about God’s saving faithfulness speak blessing to you in these challenging times:
Therefore the LORD himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel [“God-with-us”]. 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 7:14,9:6)
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.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:9-14)
And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him. (Luke 2:40)
We at ABA would like to take this opportunity to extend a sincere thank you to our clients, partners and friends for your continued business, referrals and support.
May God bless America and may God bless you this Holiday Season and in the year ahead!