Do you know that our Jewish brothers and sisters have just finished celebrating Hanukah?
As we read about Hanukah from the point of view of a believer and follower of Jesus; we are struck by the parallels that can be drawn from the history of the holiday. It is celebrated from sunset, Sat Dec 8th till sunset Saturday Dec 16th and is a reminder of the time when the temple in Jerusalem in 164 BC, after the popular revolt in 165 BC led by an elderly priest Mattathias and his five sons, was cleansed from its desecration under Antiochus IV.
According to Rabbinic tradition, God blessed the occasion by miraculously supplying an endless flow of pure oil to allow the re-lit menorah or candelabra, to burn for the eight days required until new oil could be pressed. It burned continuously in the midst of His people. Jesus, the light of the World, still burns in the midst of His people!
As Hanukah is commemorated we celebrate the birth of the Saviour and we too need to reclaim and rededicate the 'temple of our hearts', and perhaps return to that first love we once had for the Lord.
Finally Hanukah can remind us to worship the One True Light of the World and reflect that light ourselves as we seek to share His wonderful love.
Have a very happy and blessed Christmas
Dr Howard Barnes
International Director at Time Out Mission Intn'l, UK