Welcome to another celebration to share! Last evening, November 28, was the first day of Hanukkah. I bought this menorah on Amazon last winter, just after Christmas. I chose it because of its compact size and the fact it uses birthday candles, which is easier for me than a full-sized menorah. This metal angel tray works well for it. As a Christian, people ask why I would celebrate Hanukkah. First, I had a Jewish grandma who had a wonderful menorah and we would watch her light it sometimes if we visited her home at the right time. Second, I appreciate the symbolism of how Christ came into this dark world to shine the light of God. Third, it reminds me our God is a God of miraculous provision, making one day’s lamp oil last for eight nights. Here is the menorah I’m speaking about.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. from Wikipedia
I do not believe Christians are obligated to celebrate Jewish feasts and festivals, known collectively in Hebrew as the Moadim [appointed times], but we get to if we choose to. It can bring more meaning to the Jewish celebrations when we know the Word of God because all the festivals point to Christ Jesus, the Messiah, and He has fulfilled most of them and will complete them on His triumphal return. For example: the Passover seder is an interactive way to teach God’s care for His people and His great power, bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land with a mighty hand. So, each celebration of a Moadim illustrates what God is like and brings a clearer understanding of the Bible. As believers in Jesus Christ, He is the oil that keeps the light that shines in this dark world burning in and through us. Also, the Maccabees not only burned oil in the lampstand, they first cleansed the temple from the idols and desecration. We also cleanse our temple when we apply the blood of Jesus to our souls.
Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.
1 John 3 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
As a child, I never had the full celebration of Hanukkah with my grandmother, but at Christmas we would get a mesh bag of chocolate gelt; gold foil- wrapped chocolate coins- in our Christmas stockings. Children have a game where they spin a dreidel, a top with four sides, a Hebrew letter on each. I am not familiar with the game, but know gelt coins are prizes for winning.These days, Hanukkah is competing with Christmas celebrations. They celebrate eight nights with gifts and feasting. We celebrate Christmas Eve & Christmas day, some still celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas or the four weeks of Advent. There are many other treats associated with this celebration. Here are a few I found:
Sufganiyah is a deep-fried donut, filled with jam or custard and topped with powdered sugar. A Hanukkah-themed advent calendar filled with candy will also satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth over the eight nights of this holiday. Also, potato pancakes called latkes topped with applesauce are a staple for celebrating Hanukkah. I found this info and much more for your friends who celebrate Hanukkah at:
http://www.gwhatchet.com/2019/11/25/gift-guide-for-every-night-of-hanukkah/#:~:text=Gift guide for every night of Hanukkah 1,their name. … 8 Eighth night%3A Journals.%20
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Friends, let us shine our lights brightly as we walk in the love of God in Christ Jesus. May the Holy Spirit fire ignite your spirit and soul to go forth and do great exploits for His kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. Until we meet again, Shalom to you all.