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Dec 17 Devotion: Happy Hanukkah!

John 10:22- And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

Note: The Feast of Dedication in -v. 22 is a celebration now referred to as the Festival of Lights.

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah is an 8 day celebration also known as the Festival of Lights.

Around 200 BC Judea became part of the Seleucid Empire of Syria when Antiochus defeated Epiphanes of Egypt. Antiochus defiled the Temple by making himself a god and offering swine sacrifices on the altar. This sparked a revolt of Jewish dissidents led by Jonathan Maccabee who destroyed pagan altars and fought against the Seleutions. They entered Jerusalem in triumph and cleansed the Temple while re-establishing traditional Jewish worship. A miracle occurred for it took 8 days to cleanse the Temple (8= a new beginning) yet there was but one days worth of pure oil that had not been defiled. The oil lasted 8 days!  Hanukkah is to celebrate the Dedication of the Temple.

*Hanukkah has 3 principle lessons, each one has tremendous significance; there’s the…

  1. Inviolability!

This represents “purity” triumphing over adulteration, in other words… HOLINESS!

Quote = Maimonides  (famous Rabbi historian) – “The Greeks invaded the possessions of Israel in the same spirit in which they defiled the oil in the Holy Temple. They did not destroy the oil; the defiled it. They did not rob the Jewish people; they attempted to infuse their possessions with Greek ideals- that they be used for egotistical and impure ends rather than for Holy pursuits.

  1. Illumination!  (Light)

A Menorah has 9 candles, the center one is called; “Shamash” which means servant. The other candles are to be lit from it

John 8:12- Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 1:6-12- There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

  1. Imparting!

Gifts are given to express the freedom of using ones possessions for a non- selfish ends.

In Christ Jesus we find Holiness, Light, and the greatest Gift ever offered! We truly have cause to celebrate! Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!

–Pastor Doug Foster

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