Hanukkah is a celebration of the miracle that the Maccabees experienced during the quiet time.
Scripture seemed to be on a break, a sabbatical of sorts. God appeared quiet and His people were just going about their lives.
This quiet time truly is like our days today. Working, praying, raising families and fighting battles when the call comes was what was on the plan of the day. The Maccabees also added a rebuilding of the temple to the list of things to do.
This was a time that the Lord shined when all thought He was quiet. His presence was always there, but He was in a time of preparation. Although seemingly absent, He gave these people a great gift of hope. As they rebuilt, they saw that they only had oil left to burn the candles for a short time. They didn’t give up and planned to build through the darkness because they were propelled by the Spirit to accomplish the Lord’s will.
The oil didn’t just last a few hours or a day, the candles stayed aglow for eight days to light the people’s work. They had enough to finish the job and celebrated this miracle. The temple was finished and now is forever celebrated during the Feast of Dedication. We know this holiday today as Hanukkah or the Festival of Light, an eight-day celebration of God’ miracle in a time of potential doubt. The Lord is always faithful.
A few years ago, the children and I were reading about the Feast of Dedication, when Jesus walked through Solomon’s temple.
It dawned on us that this is what we now call Hanukkah. Jesus celebrated Hanukkah with his family. It may have looked quite different and it wasn’t necessarily a high holiday, but it was recognized none the less.
After some research, we found a great book written for Christians about the Jewish holidays and how we can celebrate in light of our faith in Jesus.
For three years now we have lit candles, read verses about Jesus being the light of the world, and discussed how we can be lights for Him. We also partake in eating chocolate gelt and receiving small gifts on the 8th night.
Over the these eight nights this season, we have come across some further reasoning to our celebration of our Lord Jesus. In the midst of readings, my children bickered over who would read each night’s verses and devotions. Although frustrated, I laughed over the fact my children all wanted to read. Great, but this led to discussion about how we can be better lights.
Many people have questioned us over the years.
This year was a drilling of sorts. We came to the conclusion that we are taking the great commission to heart. If we read and talk about the Gospel for eight nights every year until each child leaves the house at 18 years old and one person asks us about it, we can present the Gospel to at least 30 people by the time all the children are adults. If we reach two people each year, the Gospel expands further. This year many people have asked so we run the race and run it further.
It is a blessing to live in liberty because of the cross and to celebrate our Lord according to His will for our lives. We hide the Word in our hearts, share the Good News, and be those lights for Him.
I encourage you to look at ways to further your celebrations over the holidays or even throughout the year. There are some great ideas about Hanukkah at this link.
Please enjoy the following pictures of my children and I celebrating Hanukkah. My husband typically does as well if his job allows for him to be home.
Night One: The Lord is Our Light
Isaiah 60:19 NIV The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light.
Night Two: The Word is Our Light
Proverbs 6:23 NIV For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life
Night Three: We Should Be a Light to Others
Matthew 5:16 NIV In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Night Four: The Light of the Body is the Eye
Acts 26:18 NIV to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Night Five: The Messiah is the Light of the World
John 1:4-5 NIV In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Night Six: Paul Saw the Light
Acts 26:16-18 NIV ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Night Seven: If Christ is Your Light, You are No Longer in the Darkness of This World
1 Peter 2:9 NIV But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Night Eight: We Need to Shine
Philippians 2:14-16 NIV Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
Let your light shine before men. Glorify Him in all that you do.
In my small ministry, I enjoy writing devotionals to share the Lord’s faithfulness with others. You can find several Advent devotionals at my website along with many other writings. I hope that you find something to enjoy.
More wonderful sister sharing here, if you missed the series>> Telling Hearts December series 2018 Wonderful Sister Sharing