Saturday, December 1, 2018

Hanukkah 2018

I forget so easily what is truly important and take for granted the gifts and salvation provided to me.  I see the Biblical feast cycles and celebrations as repeating opportunities used by my Heavenly Father to gently call me back to Himself, to call me to remembrance and rededication, a call to holiness. 

Day 1 of Hanukkah 2017 – Spaghetti and steamed broccoli.

Tomorrow starts the first day of Hanukkah, also known as The Feast of Dedication.  While it is not listed in the Torah in the original list of feast celebrations, we do know that Yeshua attended it in Jerusalem (John 10:22 – 23).  Thus, it is not just a Jewish feast for another people group, but something that my Savior participated in.

Day 2:  Tuna wraps.  I am not a wonderful cook but I tried to make a nice meal each evening to break our fast.

The great miracle that Hanukkah celebrates is not the myth of the oil lasting for 8 days (although I completely agree that Yahweh could absolutely do that) but the fact that a small band of people overthrew a massive oppressive army through sacrifice and multiple miracles.  This victory culminated in the ability to clean out, clean up and reinstate the temple services and openly worship the One True God.  Thus is born the Feast of Dedication – Hanukkah in Hebrew.

Day 3: Roasted vegetables.  We were using up all the extra candles in my stash so they didn’t match every evening.

My celebration of Hanukkah focuses on this aspect, the rededication of my temple.  To clean up and clean out my heart and soul, fact checking my attitude and actions to see if they align with who I say I am.  I am a child of God, bought with a price and saved by my Redeemer.  I am loved not because of who I am, but because of who He is.  Hanukkah is a time that I am reminded to ask a question.  Does my life and heart truly reflect who I say I am?  Do I live a life of holiness, dedicated to my King?

Day 4:  Baked acorn squash stuffed with wild rice mix and roasted seeds.

I wrote an article several years ago based on some research and journaling that I did about Hanukkah.  You can find it here:   In it I share my story of how I came to celebrate Hanukkah, go through the story of the Maccabees as recounted by the historian Josephus, and walk you through the 8 days of prayer and fasting of a meal. 

Day 5: Quesadillas and a fruit bowl

Prayer and fasting are not the traditional way to celebrate this feast but it is the way that I believe honors my King and actually acknowledges what the Maccabee Family and all the other brave Jewish believers fought for – freedom to worship Yahweh openly and have an undefiled temple.  While I currently have the freedom to worship how I choose already, I know I need to seek the rededication of my temple as well.  Life, busyness, grudges, hurts and failures all clutter up my temple.  Things I have watched, read, and put into priority over my devotions need to be swept out and removed.  Relationships can be mended or strengthened and forgiveness requested.  The call to holiness, to be set apart for Him should not be ignored.

Day 6:  Lentil soup, blue corn chips and olives

I will start tomorrow with my 8 day journey of fasting a single meal along with intentional prayers of redemption for different aspects of my life followed by lighting the candles in the hanukkiah.  By the end of the week, my hope is that my heart’s light will match the light of the fully lit hanukkiah.  I will shine bright with His purpose and love.  This will be an excellent place to begin the new calendar year.  Would you like to join me?

Day 7: Pasta and steamed peas

Below is the list of my focus for each day.  If you would like to read more about each one with scripture references, please see the above article link.  If you are lead to pray about different things, please do.  The important thing is that we are rededicating our temple to our King. 
Day 1 Repent of sin - acknowledge the need to clean our temples.
Day 2 Repent for not making God the focus of our life.
Day 3 Repent for lack of faith which is fear.
Day 4 Repent for selfishness and disobedience.
Day 5 Repent for mistakes in our relationships with immediate family, to God first and to individuals as appropriate.
Day 6 Repent for mistakes in our relationships with others outside our immediate family, to God first and to the individuals as appropriate.
Day 7 Repent for not being a good steward with what we have been given - including time, money, talents.
Day 8 Repent of unknown sins - including wrong traditions and teachings. Ask that they be revealed.

Day 8:  Well, all I can see is that we had fresh juice for part of the meal.
We also had just enough candles to finish off with one last lighting of a hanukkiah.

May your light shine bright!