I looked at this slideshow article with a “you won’t gotcha me!” attitude, I have a Ph.D. in Religion thank you very much. But sure enough, they got me with the second one. I’ve never heard of a certain Japanese sect they describe.
The Vietnamese religion mentioned was also fuzzy for me, but I do recall studying it years ago in comparative religions.
See if they can catch you! http://www.patheos.com/Galleries/Obscure-Religions
Please watch this short, awesome video…and read my reaction below
I got teary-eyed watching that video and I am not even a Jew. What got me emotional was the whole idea of clinging onto your heritage no matter what, while surrounded by murderous hostility. Resisting the cultural assimilation demand to “be exactly like us or DIE!”, is valiant indeed. As is not falling for the insidious, less violent pressure to just give in and conform.
Light of the World
As I always tell my children each year, “Yeshua and Magdalene, Mother Mary and Joseph — they all celebrated Hanukkah every year.” It’s amazing how long the Jewish people have made it in a world surrounded by brutal enemies without being stamped out.
Another inspiring part of the video was the concept of light in the darkness, and each of us having an inner light. As followers of Yeshua the Jewish Sage and Messiah, we also know him as the Light of the World and his birthday also occurs along with Chanukah during the dark time of the year, the Winter Solstice. Our inner light, as mentioned in the video, is also a reflection of the Messiah-Light. We must choose to allow our inner light to shine forth. Otherwise it won’t. Think of songs like “Let your light shine,” and “This Little Light of mine”.
Other ironic-seeming connections that come to mind as I type:
Christos is the Greek word for Messiah (means anointed one) and the earliest followers of Yeshua were called “Little Messiahs” or Little-Christos aka “christians”. The first place that word “christian” was used was in Antioch, Syria. Syrian Christians are very ancient — the Assyrian Christians. Now that city is called Antakya, Turkey because a century or so ago the moslem Turks stole it from the Syrian Christians, burned the entire city-center, chased out the Christian inhabitants, and incorporated Antioch into the country of Turkey. It’s very near the land whose air-space the Russian jet flew over for 17 seconds last week causing the Turks to shoot it down.
Ancient events and ancient peoples do seem to tie into current events more and more these days. Be sure to LET your light shine in the darkness. A little light can move a lot of darkness, goes the saying. Help those around you to keep theirs burning, too. Bring out the best in each other, not the opposite!