In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
Do you know that without Hanukkah we wouldn't have Christmas? Hanukkah means dedication, and is also known today as the Festival of Lights. This feast commemorates the rededication of the temple in 164 B.C.; it recalls the miracle of the holy temple's oil supply lasting eight days, when there was only enough for one day.
Some people consider Hanukkah to be the Jewish equivalent of Christmas. However, this holiday, which is known as The Feast of Dedication in the New Testament, predates Christmas. Shortly before this feast is mentioned in John 10:22, Jesus declared, I am the Light of the world (John 8:12 and 9:5). He identified himself as the TRUE LIGHT that burns eternally. How fitting for the miracle of Hanukkah and the Advent of the incarnate birth to be celebrated with the lighting of candles at the same time of year!
So you may be wondering, how does Hanukkah make Christmas possible? I'm glad you asked! During the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, from 175-164 B.C., this evil Syrian ruler desecrated God's holy temple and sought to eliminate the Jewish* people. Therefore, had he been successful, our Messiah, King Jesus, wouldn't have been born!
As we prepare to celebrate the coming of our Lord's birth, let us also remember that he is coming again, and resolve to rededicate our lives to him, allowing his light to shine through us!
You yourselves are God's temple . . . God's Spirit dwells in your midst . . . 1 Corinthians 3:16.
Happy Hanukkah and Merry CHRISTmas!
Copyright 2015 / 2017 Sarah A. Keith
*Read more about it at: http://mjbi.org/hanukkah
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