The rush and scuttle has begun. Familiar music heard only once a year. Lights begin to adorn street corners and homes. Lines get longer. People wearied from seeking to acquire the perfect gift, or just checking off the next thing on their list.
Aromas that transport us to thoughts of childhood celebrations and happy times that we want to replicate for our own children. So many memories, so many images and ideals that Christmas awakens in us. Tradition.
Funny, though, things changed for my family a few years back. Changed radically. It happened after we began studying the historical and cultural context of the Bible. It was as if we had been wearing sunglasses all of our lives and suddenly someone told us to take them off and see the world with new eyes.
With these new glasses on we began to see the significance of the Biblical Holidays. God had a prophetic plan in each and every appointed time, some of which have been fulfilled by the Lord Jesus and some of which have yet to be fulfilled. We saw the historical significance of Hanukkah as the Feast of Dedication and felt it was a worthy holiday for our family to incorporate in our lives.
The Feast of Hanukkah 2010 begins on Wednesday evening, Dec. 1. With all of the shimmer and excitement of Christmas, it is easy to miss, as it is so early this year. I love so many things about Hanukkah. I love how it slips in unassuming, quiet. As we take the time each evening of the eight nights to remember how God enabled the Maccabees to defeat the enemy, I am reminded that God doesn’t change. As we light the hanukkiah and watch its light, I am reminded that Jesus is the Light of the world and the darkness of the world shall not overcome His Kingdom. As we remember the miracle of the oil in dedication of the Temple, I am challenged to rededicate myself as a temple of God to His agenda for my life.
After a time of study and questioning, my family made some radical changes in our lives. There are people who don’t understand. All I can say is, try the glasses on for yourself. You may find yourself looking at life from a different perspective, too.