Monday, December 19, 2011
Christmas / Chanukah
What a wonderful time of year. Christians celebrate Christmas while the Jews are celebrating Chanukah.
Both celebrations focus on light. Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ child – the light of the world. Jews celebrate the miracle of the oil in the lamp. The oil was only enough for one day but it lasted for eight. Aside from the overlap on the calendar there are other striking similarities. The light, for one. Jews celebrate the Festival of light or dedication. Christians celebrate the Light of the world born in a manger, dedicated to/for the salvation of all who would accept Him.
As the Chanukah menorah is lit one a day for eight days, they recall the working and wonders of God Who miraculously caused one day’s oil to last for eight days. Eight being the number of new beginnings. Jesus was born to give men a new beginning. (He was also circumcised on the eighth day.)
As the candles on the menorah are lit there is something special depicted. There are nine candles - one is used to light the rest. It is called the Shamash – the servant candle because it serves to light the rest. As it is used, it ‘bows’ to the others to ‘pass on’ the light. Jesus came as one to serve, not to be served. He humbled Himself (bowing) to serve God’s purpose and us. He fives His light to each of us as we receive it from Him on an individual basis. Just as each candle is lit by the Shamash, so each one of us receives His light as He touches our lives.
God is still in the miracle working business today. Hallelujah!!!
The oil, of course, is representative of Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). This little light of mine….
Psalm 104:4 says; ‘Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.’
Hebrew 1:7 says; ‘And of the angels He says: Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire’
Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas. Burn, baby, burn.
Blessings, Pastor Bill
Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalayim