52 Churches 52 Weeks

Worship Exploration Journey

Week 29 – Christmas with Saint Thomas More Catholic Church & Hanukka with Beth Simchat – 2 for 1 Weekend

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On Saturday Candace and I celebrated the 4th day of Hanukka with the Messianic Jews at Beth Simchat HaMashiach in Scottsdale. I had attended this synagogue in the summer and wanted to experience what the Messianic Jews might have to say about the birth of Jesus. Interestingly enough there was very, very little attention given to the birth of Yeshua(Jesus). I was surprised. I would have thought there would be just a little more than one sentence dedicated to his birth since the Rabbi is also a Pastor.

I did enjoy hearing the Hanukka Story and loved how all the children went to the front to act out the Hanukka story about the desecration of the Temple and Torah. I learned that the Torah is the first five books of the Bible – Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Numbers. Antiochus desecrated the Temple by slaughtering pigs in the sacred space and ruining the Torah. That’s so disgusting. When the Jews re-dedicated the Temple after a good cleaning they believed they had enough oil to light the Temple for 1 night. In the end, the oil lasted 8 nights. Hanukka is a time of renewal and rededication. I like that! I loved that the Rabbi picked Candace up and let her light a Hanukka Candle. It was so sweet.

We then visited Santa for a cute photo at the Scottsdale Fashion Mall and headed over to celebrate the Catholic Christmas Mass at St. Thomas More with my family. Interestingly enough there was very, very little attention given to the birth of Jesus. I was surprised. Instead we heard the story Babushuka a woman in an eastern european country who handed out toys and lit a candle to light the way for us to find Jesus. I would have thought there would have been just a little more than once sentence dedicated to the birth of Jesus since you know, it was like the Catholic church and all. I loved that all the children got to go up on the alter and gather round for the story.

I felt disappointed with the hole lack of Jesus. I think if I could have squeezed it all in I would have loved to do a bunch of different Christmas services. Maybe next year!

St. Thomas More is a beautiful church with amazing stained glass! The Holy Water is a large reflecting pool and I loved seeing the large statue of Jesus on the cross.

Link to the lovely St. Thomas More – http://stmglendale.org/

Beth Simchat HaMashiach – http://bethsimchat.net/

A story of Babushuka – http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111219/COMM/112190306/-1/NEWS14

THe Hanukka Story – http://www.history.com/topics/hanukkah

And Finally – Adam Sandler and the Hanuukah Song! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeC8nTYEwQQ


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