It is funny, I set out to write a post in a Facebook group and it turned into a blog.
What I am about to write will most likely surprise the majority of you.
This past week in an online meeting, the season we are in came up like it does every year. I was going to make a comment but held back, so I decide to write a post on the subject and it just kept growing.
Like most, for years after leaving Christianity, I despised this season, could not wait for it to pass.
It has been just over 10 years for me since I left Christianity and like everyone else, I have gone through phase after phase; life is all about learning and growing. This year has not been any different for me.
Just over a year ago I began entering into another phase of growth. This began with the study of the book of Jonah via the Artscroll Tanach Series commentary of the book.
The story of Jonah climaxes at the point where the Creator relented His decree of destruction of the city Nineveh, because He saw the changes they made in how they treated one another. Their change had nothing to do with not what they spiritually believed, but in their actions towards one another. We know this because the Jewish Sages tell us that not one temple was torn down.
Jonah 8:8, 10
Everyone is to turn back from their evil way, and from the robbery which is in his hands – And God saw their deeds, that they repented from their evil way.
“According to ‘Abarbanel’, they repented of the robbery and injustice, but did not change their pagan beliefs which remained with them. Hence the verse specifies that God saw their deeds, i.e. their improved level of personal consideration and social interaction. God relented and forgave them because robbery and injustice was the reason for their doom to begin with.” Page 129-130 Artscroll Tanach Series Jonah
For the first time since leaving Christianity, I have not hated this season – do not get me wrong – I despise the theology and spiritual message behind the holiday.
There is good that can be found in this season for all of us – here in the south where I live is usually cold, damp and grey outside – this holiday brings out the lights, like the huge snowflake lights on the bridges and lamp post around town. For the most part people try to be in a better mood. There are wonderful colors displayed that has nothing to do with pagan symbols – even winter music that is not spiritual but joyful.
I admit, I do like some of the holiday shows – I watched one the other night with the name of the holiday in it. The show was set at the holiday time but in the end the show was all about the miracle of kindness.
Yes, kindness is a miracle – one that can be shown everyday of the year.
We as Noahides do not believe or take part in the spiritual part of this worldly holiday – but our 7 Universal Instructions is the recipe for kindness.
In Genesis 8:22, the Creator informs us that as the earth remains, so does the seasons of the earth.
Thus, we are in an endless cycle of seasons which gives us the opportunity to be kind and do what is right for another human being.
Tis the season – for us to share the miracle of kindness.
Terry W. Hayes
Photo Credit: Zachary Nelson on Unsplash