A New Altar

From Pr. Barrett’s blog:

Hopping Hadrian's Wall

Today’s reading is taken from 1 Maccabees 4:36-51.

It’s found in the part of the Bible that Protestants refer to as the Apocrypha. Christians in the Reformed tradition generally do not consider these books to be inspired or authoritative for establishing doctrine. Nevertheless, reading the Apocrypha can be helpful “for examples of life and instruction in behaviour, but the church does not use them to establish any doctrine” (from the Church of England’s 39 Articles of Religion).

Today’s reading is taken from the part of the story upon which the Jewish feast of Hanukkah is based. Judas Maccabee and his brothers defeated the enemy army against all odds and then went about the arduous work of cleansing and rededicating the temple.

The most difficult question concerned the altar of burnt offerings, upon which an enemy general had sacrificed a pig to a foreign deity. The priests determined…

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