A recent youtube video from the TV series “It’s a Miracle” told the story of a Russian couple who immigrated to the United States to escape religious persecution. As they celebrated Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday that occurs close to Christmas every year, they placed an electric menorah in their living room window. A menorah has nine candles, one lit for each of the eight days of Hanukkah and an extra “servant” candle, which is used to light the others. As their neighbors turned on their Christmas lights, this couple turned on a new candle each evening.
One night during Hanukkah they were awakened by the sound of breaking glass. Going downstairs, they found the window and the menorah were both smashed. As there was no other evidence of vandalism in their neighborhood, they realized that they were singled out because they were Jews, and they feared that they had left home only to find more persecution.
Two women decided to help in an unusual way. They went from store to store until they found and bought enough electric menorahs for all the homes in the neighborhood. They then went house to house. All the neighbors agreed to put the candles in their window, even though that might make them a target as well. Soon the entire neighborhood was decorated for both Christmas and Hanukkah. The surprised couple was overwhelmed by the love shown by all their neighbors.
When Rabbi Eliot Strom heard of what had happened he said, “Those people who question whether there are miracles today are looking for something supernatural and dramatic …. The real miracles are acts of kindness that people perform for each other when there’s no ulterior motive and there’s no personal gain …. That’s the greatest miracle of all.”
Christmas is the wonderful time of year when we are surprised by love – the love strangers show to each other and the greatest love of all – the miraculous love shown by God to come to earth, so that those who receive Him, can someday be with Him in heaven. Pastor Tim Jones, in his sermon series “Chaotic Christmas” stated, “If God cares about sparrows and lilies, He cares about you.”
Don’t be alone for Christmas. Be surprised by Love. Invite Jesus and He will come. In fact, He’s knocking at the door to your heart right now.