And as I hold in my hand the shamash, the servant candle used to light all the others, I am again drawn in to the beauty of why I love this festival. Each night as I add another candle to my menorah, I am reminded of what its all about. What this feast of dedication is all about.
It was winter, and the Festival of the Dedication was being held in Jerusalem. Yeshua was walking in the Temple precincts, in Solomon's Portico. The Jews gathered round Him and asked: ‘How long must you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah say so plainly.’” (John 10:22–24)
Yeshua went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), and while in the Temple area He proclaimed, “The works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:25, 30)
When Yeshua spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12)
Yeshua Himself celebrated this historical feast and at the time of this feast, where the giant menorah's were lit for all the world to see, He made some bold statements about Himself, statements that give me hope when its dark. Traditionally, Chanukah is an eight day celebration that celebrates a brave priestly family who rose up against the cruel and wicked Epiphanes who defiled Gods temple and set up an idol in the temple courts. He even forbid the Jewish people to keep any of the covenantal rituals of Sabbath, circumcision and new moon festivals (which calculated the times of the Biblical feasts). Those who kept these things, faced death and hundreds died. But one family fought back and rallied many to their side. Each one of them died in the fight to liberate their nation, only Simon the very last brother, remained behind. But through their sacrifice the Jews won and Israel regained its independence.
Yet Chanukah stretches over to me. It speaks to me. The Chernobyl Rabbi Menachem Nachum said that on Hanukkah, God is willing to come down, right down to where the person is, in order to draw the person near. The Light of the World Yeshua, is always near, always drawing alongside us to hear our thoughts and our deepest needs. In prayer this evening, I cried out for this light to shine on the pathway of our lives. As my husband and I ready ourselves alongside many others, to kiss 2015 goodbye, we have a deeper sense of a great harvest ready for 2016 but we need the Light to lead us as we walk a life of blind faith.
I need Yeshua's light everyday, so that I can truly shine His marvellous light. His light changes people and as I add candle after candle on the menorah during the eight day celebration, I am deeply aware of something I never truly realised before. That we are here to change the world, one small candle at a time and that my heart yearns deeply from a solitary place thats only mine, to bring about a deeper change then ever before. The servant candle used to light the others, is the Greatest Servant of all, the Suffering Servant Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ. He lights this light in me, so that I can shine freely.
"For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)
I am in awe of the lights this year, in awe of the fact that we read Joseph's story during the feast of Chanukah. His story of dark despair because he was to bring forth such a marvellous light, of salvation to his family and ultimately the nation of Israel. Many of us will face hard times, prisons cells and false lies forged about us because of other peoples lust for who we are or what we have, but God is working it out for our good. We are here to bring about change, deep change, eternal change and the light in us defeats all the darkness out there, because we are called Children of Light, so come what may, Father please help us shine!
Sharing with Kelly at Wildflowers