Hanukkah

 

(Eve 24th December to 31 December 2016)

Some time ago we purchased two silver candle holders from an op shop. A while later we purchased some silver cleaner to clean these candle holders. They have sat in a cupboard for several months – waiting patiently!

Today was the day I pulled the candleholders from storage and decided to clean them up ready to help make our first Hanukkah display in our new home. The candle holders looked very tarnished with many dark spots, hidden in the swirly decorative features between the candle cups.

I placed the candleholders on a towel on the bench and began applying the silver polish with a soft cloth. It was evident this would take some time. As I cleaned I began to think about Hanukkah and the joy of watching the candles flicker. They give a sense of Yahveh’s presence, love, light, peace and hope for His Return!

In amongst all the chaos of Christmas in the shops, the brochures filling our letterboxes and the displays of tinsel and trees in our streets, the candles seem so humble, peaceful and pure. They don’t scream for attention like the streets of lit up homes. Hidden in the flickering of the candle lights is a sense of awe, a feeling of calm and a knowing that no matter how things seem our Father in Heaven is in control!

Ephesians 1:20-22

Which He (Yahveh) worked in the Messiah when He raised Him (Yeshua) from the dead and He seated Him on the right hand (hand of power and strength) in the heavenlies.  Far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and then He was named above every name, not only in this age, but also in the one that is coming.

 As I rubbed the polish and slowly the tarnish spots began to lift, I reflected on how we need to draw near to Yahveh, allow the Holy Spirit to shine in our hearts, and bring the impurities to the surface so they can be cleansed by the precious Blood of Yeshua. We are His Temple and just like the well-known story of the Maccabees’ overcoming great odds in battle to reclaim the Temple and cleanse it, Hanukkah is a time we cleanse our temples.

Romans 12:1

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” 

1 Corinthians 3:16

“Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

Ephesians 1:4

“just as He chose you before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.”

 Over and over in his letters Paul is urging people to check their hearts and keep themselves holy, to abstain from ungodliness, and live by the Commandments in the Torah. It is a time to pull down idols that may have arisen in our hearts, things of shame or ungodly attitudes. As we repent of what we find hidden there, we are forgiven through our faith in the sacrifice Yeshua paid on the Cross on our behalf. As we meet with Him, He alone is able to repair any damage and bring healing from pain.

The word Hanukkah itself means “to dedicate” and this eight-day celebration is also known as the “Feast of Dedication.” It is a joyful time of eating donuts, latkes, playing dreidel, singing and lighting candles. Hidden amongst this is the much deeper meaning of rededication of ourselves to Yeshua our Messiah and refocussing on living a life pleasing to Him.

It is a time of reflecting on overcoming evil at great odds. It is a timely reminder that when we rely on Yahveh ALL THINGS are possible. It is good to reflect on the lives of Joseph, Esther, Ruth, and Josiah along with the parable of the ten virgins. As we study the Scriptures the Holy Spirit can speak to us about His Will and purposes for our lives and how He wants us to walk holy before Him.

He is looking for people to be His Bride who are humble, obedient and prepared! Just like the candle sticks when the tarnishes were removed, they shine and reflect light we are to remove our “spots and wrinkles” and allow His light to reflect through us. We are to be His light to the world around us.

Enjoy pondering these things as you enjoy Hanukkah!

LWS

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