Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hanukkah Begins

In just an hour, we will begin our Hanukkah celebration. No, we aren't Jewish, but over the past few
years, we have felt drawn more and more to the Biblical celebrations. Our family now incorporates many of the yearly feasts, though not exactly like our Jewish brethren, I'm sure.

We have discovered a profound sense of nearness to God when we take the time to celebrate the feasts He lovingly set out for His people.

Many would argue that Hanukkah is not a Biblical feast. Actually, it is mentioned in John 10:22 by one of its other names, The Feast of Dedication. It is also called the Feast of Lights. Want to learn more about how this celebration applies to Christians? Our good friend Bill, recently posted this webinar and we encourage you to watch it here. (P.S., We also took the picture above from his webinar. We love what it represents! Thanks, Bill!)

Each year we have done this, we have created new traditions for our family. This year Christian is old enough to really understand and notice the difference between our December celebrations and those around us who celebrate Christmas "all the way". Therefore, we have the privilege to include him in learning about why and how we celebrate Hanukkah.

One of the additions to our Hanukkah tradition this year is a mini-devotional on one of Jesus' names. We'll be doing one each night of Hanukkah. We chose these particular names because they have extra significance for us this year or because we felt Christian, as the youngest in our crew, would best be able to identify with them. We share our first devotional with you here and we welcome questions about how we incorporate the Jewish Feasts into our family's traditions.

Day 1 - Light of the World
John 9:5: Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

In the Temple, there was a magnificent golden lamp stand burning all the time. In John, when Jesus is standing in the courtyard declaring himself to be the light of the world, He was likely standing in the courtyard of the temple rebuilt after the Babylonian captivity. The candles were undoubtedly glowing brilliantly, but their light dimmed beside Jesus.

When John wrote the book of John he said this about Jesus: “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

Darkness is the domain of Satan. It says in Epehsians 6:12: For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

In John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”  In John 12:46, He said, “I am the Light who has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.”

This means that if we are walking with Jesus, darkness cannot beat us. Jesus said these things for those with Him when he was on earth and for all on earth who choose to believe in Him after He went back to heaven. When Jesus was preparing His disciples about His going away to the Father, He said in John 12:35, “For a brief time still, the Light is among you. Walk by the Light so darkness doesn’t destroy you.”

Jesus will continue to be the Light in the future when He returns to rule the Earth. In Revelation 21:23, it says: The City (Zion where God will dwell) doesn’t need sun or moon for light. God’s Glory is its light, the Lamb its lamp!

Who is the Lamb? (pause and see if Christian or someone can answer) That’s right, Jesus! He can keep us from darkness now and He will be the Light of the World in the future for those who get to be with Him forever.

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