This is the time of year that the Jewish people (and all who desire to join them) celebrate the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the “anti-christ” figure Antiochus IV. It was the decree of Antiochus for the Jews to abandon the instruction (Torah) of God which he had given his people.
As we reflect on this time, we find that this “spirit” and drive of Hellenism and assimilation exists today in an arguably stronger and subtler way. Even the materialistic fights surrounding “Christmas” are tell-tale signs of the times.
As followers of God, we are to continually examine why we do what we do. Why do we think the way we do about what we do? Are we willing to stand up against the “gods” of this age and say as Moses and Mattathias, “everyone who is zealous for the Torah and the covenant, come”(Mac 1, Ex 32)? Are we willing to be the minority that appears doomed? As Judah declared, “in the sight of God there is no difference between saving by many or a few. It is not the size of army that victory depends, strength comes from heaven. They come at us with great pride and ‘torah-less-ness’ to destroy us…we fight for the Torah. He Himself will crush them before us; as for you, do not be afraid of them” (Mac 3).
Regardless of eschatological views, what does not change is the calling we have to be a Kingdom of Priests, representing our God and his Messiah. Let us consider how our worldview has been shaped due to the “Antiochus” spirit of the age. What part of our “temple” must be cleansed and rededicated as a sanctified “House” worthy of the Name which it bears?
Our culture (Christian and otherwise) will try and shape who we are as a people, so like Abram we are to be listening, and are to remain vigilant in our journeys as we allow ourselves to be shaped into the Kingdom citizens that the “master stone cutter” desires.
I hope everyone has had a great holiday season. Keep the Fire burning, the Light shining, as we follow our Lion of “Judah”.