Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Horse Pucky
14 December, 2017
As we move into the Advent season in the Year of Our Lord 2017, I am distracted, once again, by sundry insolent messages: Kwanzaa! Hanukkah! (Or some other squawking counter-Christmas disturbances.)
I react with such apparent impertinence to what may seem to be innocuous, wholesome, human, cultural events. But why?
I must say why.
I can give no room to any claims which infringe upon the praise due the King of Glory, who came down from heaven, took on flesh, died for the sins of the world, and rose again for the salvation of many. And that praise is especially given by our – and many-a – nation via certain holy days, also known as “holidays”: Christmas and Easter, in particular. We celebrate, traditionally, his incarnation and birth at Christmas and his death and resurrection at Easter. The Savior, the Second Person of the Trinity, the God-man, was incarnated in the virgin Mary by a holy conception, was born to her. He grew up to be a man and did bear the sins of the world, died, and rose again.
Well, now. That is a fine miracle! This crowning miracle along with literally dozens of other miracles recorded among the churches of God less than 200 years after the infinitely less significant events marking Hanukkah. Starting with the alleged Messiah Himself, we have him calming a ferocious storm on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:23-27), and then walking upon the waters of the lake (John 6:16-21). He performed many-a wonder along the way to confirm His messianic identity. He turned water into wine (John 2:1-11) and multiplied a lad’s loaves and fishes so that thousands were fed (John 6:1-14). He destroyed a fig tree with but a word from his mouth (Matthew 21:19). He restored ear of the high priest after Peter cut it off (Luke 22:51).
Then, uh, there is making the blind to see (John 9:1-7) and the lame to walk (Acts 3:1-10). And then Lazarus, dead four days, was raised from the dead (John 11:43-44)!
And then he topped it all off with his own death and resurrection! Thomas could feel the prints in the hands of the resurrected Christ (John 20:27). Word spread far and wide and the opposition – suppression, oppression, and censorship – could not stop witnesses from speaking out about what they had seen and heard and touched!
He is, therefore, known as “the Christ,” the anointed one. And He is the foundation of the whole Christian belief system (1 Corinthians 15:16-19). Facts of the miraculous sort confirmed Him as the Messenger of Truth.
How does the celebration of the coming of such a One compare with the celebration of Kwanzaa and Hanukkah?
Consider the primary Jewish holidays. Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Passover are mentioned in the Torah. Hanukkah only gets sketchy mention the Talmud. So whence came this tradition to our attention in America? The history of Hanukkah celebration in American is a curious one. It gained popularity in 19th century America in response, apparently, to the absence of anything comparable to the dominant Christian culture with which Jewish folks had to compete. What do provide for their kids for a comparable celebration in the face of all those goys and their domineering Christmas celebrations. That is the abridged history. Sufficient to make the point.
So, what is Hanukkah?
It is the celebration of a miracle that occurred over a century before the death and resurrection of Jesus right in the same neighborhood in a village called Modiin. A Greek soldier ordered a Jewish High Priest, Mattathias, and his people to bow to an idol. When the Jews rebelled killing the Greek soldiers, these “Macabbees” eventually returned to Jerusalem but could not conduct services in their temple until it was purified. (It had been defiled by the gentile Romans.) They needed to burn some oil for the ritual purification of the temple, and, miraculously, a day’s worth of oil lasted for the required eight days!
Okay. Not really a big deal in contrast to the Biblical miracles of Moses and the prophets and then, the crowning miracle of the resurrection of Jesus, after whose entrance into history the calendars of the world have been recalibrated! Not even close! Not even in the same league.
And what about Kwanzaa?
Well, some black nationalist from Parsonsburg, Maryland named Maulana Kerenga concocted the holiday in 1966. It comes from a Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits of the harvest.” Its creation was driven by black nationalist sentiments in the U.S. during the raucous, God-damning, Law-hating, sex-abusing 1960s.
No sacrifices or anointings for the celebration of Kwanzaa. No burning oil for eight days. Not even the smoking of joints for even a singular day! Nothing spectacular. Certainly not near the same league as that of a prophecy-fulfilling, miracle-producing Messiah. No Son of God put to death and publicly rising from the dead after three days in the grave! Nothing!
Don’t even mention Kwanzaa and Hanukkah as if these are on some kind of an historical and miraculous parity with Christmas. “Horse pucky,” to say the least. Forget it! In terms of historical, cultural, spiritual, psychological, social and personal significance there is no comparison!
Merry CHRISTmas and a blessed Easter as Resurrection Sunday is celebrated in just a few months. He died for your sins and rose victorious. Now is the Day of salvation.