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Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Nine lights on the hanukkyah shine in the darkness. As I gaze at the flickering flame I think of Jesus and all He taught us as He walked on earth. Jesus was Jewish and he celebrated the Festival of Dedication also known as the Festival of Lights. On the Jewish calendar the date of Hanukkah is Kislev 25. I sit and wonder if that is why Christian leaders of ages past selected December 25 to celebrate Christmas.
This festival was first celebrated in 164 BC when Jewish people of that day rededicated their temple which had been ransacked and desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, an evil ruler of
. As the story goes the Jews could only find one cruse of sacred oil to use to burn the eternal flame. That cruse would only last one day. But a miracle happened: the oil lasted 8 days, just long enough for them to prepare more of the sacred oil. Now the dedication of the temple was complete and they could worship God in all that he had commanded them to do. Syria
As a Christian I contemplate what God could be telling me with those Hanukkah lights. Those eight lights represent God’s light in us and the ninth light represents Jesus our Messiah. He is the servant candle. The Shamash. All the other candles are lighted by using the Shamash. In
John 8:12 Jesus said “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
When we follow Jesus he sends the Holy Spirit to place his light within us.
Phil 2:15 tells us to “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” He calls us to be dedicated to Him. As you celebrate Christmas this year remember that Jesus came to be the light of the world. Ask him to put his light in you so that you can be a light that shines in a dark and needy world.