Good evening friends, followers and fellow bloggers. This evening we have a guest post by Spitfire of lovelettersfrompapa.blogspot.com/
Thank you for writing it Spitfire. I hope you all enjoy a little educational story outside our normal relm of discussion.
Hi Everyone! Today at sundown is the beginning of Hanukkah. I realize lots of folks don't know much about Hanukkah and Pops asked me to try to explain a little about it. So let's see if I can 'shed some light' on the subject. (Sorry for the pun, couldn't help myself.) OK, Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights (hence the pun...) or the Festival of Dedication. The story begins long, long ago in a distant land...the land of Ancient Israel. This will require quite a bit of century skipping to keep this short, so please forgive me.
Around 200 BC, which would be during the 'silent' period in Christian Bibles, between the 'old' and 'new' testaments, the Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes took over control of Judea and Samaria. He began slowly to outlaw the practice of Judaism and took over the Jewish Temple in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). This was not received well by the Jewish people. But when he insisted on slaughtering pigs on the Temple Altar to honor Zeus, according to his Hellenistic faith, things reached a boiling point. There was a Jewish priest (yes they were called priests way back in Exodus!) named Mattithius with 5 sons who said "That's enough!" (Paraphrased) He and his sons led a revolt against Antiochus who called in the whole Greek army. Mattithius was killed and his son Judah the Macabbee (meaning hammer) takes over. This begins the Hasmonean Jewish Kingdom. The fight takes 2 years, but this rough and tumble bunch of Jews defeats the Greek army! They immediately set out to clean and resanctify the Temple (this would be Solomon's Temple I believe). When they are ready to relight the Menorah (candelabra), they only find one small jar of sanctified oil. Oops. Now what will they do? Well, they'll gather some olives to make more oil and have it sanctified of course. But that process takes 8 days. Oy vey! Well, they decide they'll have to relight the Menorah to signify that the Temple is ready for YHWH to return and dwell there...and just have to get the fresh olive oil done as quickly as possible....knowing it will take 8 days. When they return to the Temple, they were dumbfounded!! The Menorah was still lit!!! There was oil for one day, but now 8 full days later, the Menorah is still lit!! Oh, what a miracle happened there!!! Quick! A celebration is in order!
Now, jump forward a couple hundred years...it's now the time of Yeshua. He's a grown man ministering around the countryside. In John 10:22, it says He was in Yerushaliyam (Jerusalem) in winter for the Feast of Dedication...ahah! He's there for Hanukkah! SInce Yeshua and His followers were practicing Jews, of course they'd celebrate Hanukkah! Now, if you keep reading He tells folks He's there to do the work His Father had sent Him to do. If you have a Bible with the Apocrypha, the whole battle is found in 1 and 2 Macabees. It's a great story of valor, drama and faith. If you don't have a copy, check out Hebrew4Christians, they have a great sight to find out more about Christianity's Jewish roots.
Ok, so what do we do to celebrate this now??? Well, this is where it gets fun! We light a special Menorah, called a Hanukiah, that has 9 branches. We light a candle adding another one each night till all 8 candles are lit. The ninth candle is the Shamesh, the helper candle. (Psst, see a correlation to the Father in that? The Helper Candle? Lights the other candles to shed their light into the darkness....sounding slightly familar? Kinda like Yeshua??? Hmmm, I thought so.) Anyway, we light the candles, say special prayers that thank Papa for providing for us, protecting us and bringing us to this time of year. Then we eat....and eat.....and eat. In fact, I think we eat more at Hanukkah than any other holiday except Pesach (Passover). We eat sufganiyot (jelly donuts), latkes (potato pancakes) in all different styles, chocolate gelt (coins), cookies and most anything you can fry or bake in oil. Then we play games..,.things like the Dreidel game and family type games that all can participate in. And we sing songs and dance. You've never sung until you've sung "Bubbe had a latke cake!" (It's sung to the tune of Mammy's little darling makes Shortnin Bread...) We spend lots of time together as a family and with friends having fun. Celebrating! It's tons of fun, lasts for 8 days and gives us reasons to truly enjoy the gluminess of winter.
So as all we who observe the Biblical fFeasts prepare for Hanukkah to start, we pray peace, joy and laughter into the lives of all. May your days be filled with His light, as our homes will be filled with the light of our candles that remind us of His light. May your hearts be filled with joy, peace and sounds that remind you how much Papa loves you. And may YHWH, (G-d), our Elohim (the Divine) bless each and everyone of you each of your days and draw you closer to Him with each breathe you take. Shalom and Mozel Tov! Spitfire
Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.
Read more about this famous Lutheran Pastor at:
Read more about this famous Lutheran Pastor at: