What the Drummer Boy Didnâ€™t Know
Value: The Story of Hanukah
The children of the shepherds waited eagerly not far from Bethlehem to hear the story of their parents visit
to see the Christ child. Little Johannes sat on the hill watching the tiny barn in the valley where they say the
miracle baby was just born. But instead of his parents, a small boy came out carrying a drum and made his
way up the hill.
â€œOh hello.â€ The little drummer boy said when he saw the young shepherd boy. â€œI am Amahl.â€
â€œI am Johannes.â€ The shepherd introduced himself. â€œHave you been to see the Christ child?â€
â€œYes, I traveled here with the wise men from the east. I could not afford a gift so they let me play my
drum for him. I will never forget it.â€ Amahl told his new friend sitting next to him in the snow.
â€œYes, I want to see the messiah so much. It is the greatest miracle to come to our people since the
Hanukah miracle.â€ Johannes reflected.
â€œI am not part of your proud Hebrew tradition.â€ Amahl confessed. â€œWhat is this story of
So Amahl began to draw pictures in the snow to tell the story. â€œA long time ago, over hundred and fifty
years ago to be exact, the Hebrew people were being treated very cruelly by bad men who were the
government. They did not respect our religion and they destroyed our temple and put filthy things that made
our temple unholy on our alters and killed many many peopleâ€
â€œOh that must have been terrible.â€ Amahl observed. â€œStories are told of this horrible treatment
around the world. The wise men who brought me talked of them during the long ride to Bethlehem. They
said a great champion saved your people.â€
â€œYes, thatâ€™s true. His name was Judas Maccabeus and God gave him great victories over our
oppressors. He was able to defeat armies of ten thousand with just a few hundred soldiers just like the great
deliverers of history did. It was truly a show of how faithful and protective God is of his people.â€ Johannes
â€œSo you celebrate Hanukah because of the miracle of deliverance that God did through Judas
Maccabeus?â€ Wondered Amahl.
â€œWell thereâ€™s more to the story.â€ Amahl continued happy to be able to tell the story of the Hanukah
miracle. â€œJudas Maccabeas drove the oppressors from our land. Our priests and valiant men took the
temple back as the battle raged. In the temple there is a flame that is to burn for eternity. It represents that
God is present in the temple and He will never leave us or forsake us. When our priests reentered the temple
that day, they found the lamp still burning despite the horrible things the enemy had done to our holy places.
It showed us for sure that God never left us and will never leave us, even when we suffer.â€ Johannes said
sound much like his father when the story is told each year in their home.
â€œThis is a wonderful God you have. I wish all the peoples of the world could come to Him.â€ Amahl
â€œThe miracle of Hanukah shows that God will save his people no matter what. The priests found there
was only enough oil for one day left for the lamp to continue to burn. Because they had to stay in the temple
as the battle raged on, there was no way they could go find oil for the lamp and yet that lamp was Godâ€™s
presence with us. For eight days they waited to get out to get more oil.â€ Amahl said whispering in awe.
â€œAnd the lamp? Did Godâ€™s presence lift because the oil ran out?â€ Johannes asked eagerly.
â€œNO!â€ Amahl said triumphantly, â€œThe lamp burned for eight days on one days worth of oil. That is
the miracle of Hanukah and why we celebrate each year for eight days to commemorate that God would not
let his spirit lift from us even though supplies were not available to keep the lamp burning. Our God is not
bound by missing oil or anything. He has the power to do miracles for all of his people. And now he has
done the greatest miracle, he has sent His only son, Jesus to save all people so we all can be his children.â€
â€œAs we traveled.â€ Amahl said, â€œthe wise men spoke of salvation for all people too. Isnâ€™t your
God just the God of the Hebrews and didnâ€™t Jesus just come to save the Jews just as Judas Maccabee
saved the Jewish people from outsiders?â€™ He asked confused.
Amahl face lit up because he suddenly understood why Hanukah and Christmas are about the same thing.
â€œThe miracle of the Christ child is like Hanukah. Just as God declared in Hanukah that his presence will
always be with us, now even more is God coming to be our friend and savior because God himself has
come, not just oil form him or blessing but God himself has come to be with us forever. And the miracle is
greater still because as the angel choir sang, his salvation is for all people, the Jews, the wise men from the
east, you Amahl, all people can receive the salvation from God.â€
Both boys got goose bumps from the amazing thing they learned about God. And on that very first
Christmas night, Jew and non Jew alike joined hands and accepted the gift of life from Jesus just like you
and your family have done and people in your community will continue to do as you tell them the story of
the amazing miracle of Godâ€™s blessings shown in Hanukah and in the coming of his son, our savior,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
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