Sunday, December 6, 2015

Let Your Light Shine: Happy Hanukkah by Rev. Lonnie C. Crowe

Sunday, December 6, 2015 is the first day of Hanukkah, the festival commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. It is also a festival of lights.    It is a time of rededicating our lives to the Lord and a time to let the light of Jesus shine out into the world.  Jesus celebrated this festival and so should we.  John 10:22-23 (NKJV) “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch.”

The eight branches on the Hanukkah menorah represent the miracle of the oil that kept the Temple menorah lighted for eight days after the rededication.  Notice that the eight branches are attached to a taller candle that is called the Servant candle.  The Servant candle is used to light the other candles.  To Christians, the Servant candle represents Jesus Who lights our way through the power of the Holy Spirit Who resides within us.  In Him, we are to be servant candles to light the way in our world.

During these 8 days of Hanukkah, let’s meditate on the following:

1.     Light was the first order of creation.  It is foundational to the rest of creation.  Everything in creation was good because it was created in the light of the Creator.  Since the Fall of Man, Creation itself has been yearning for God’s people to bring the light.  Romans 8:19 (NKJV):  “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.”
2.      Light dispels darkness.  Darkness is not the opposite of light.  It is the absence of light.  A tiny flicker of light diminishes darkness.
3.      Light exposes that which is hidden in darkness. Luke 8:16-17 (NKJV) "No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.”
4.     Light  lessens the anguish of wintertime seasonal depression.  Just as we await the lengthening of days that comes with the winter solstice, we await the coming of our Lord and the eternal light of the New Jerusalem,  Revelation 21:22-23 (NKJV) “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.”
5.     Jesus is the light of the world. John 8:12 (NKJV) “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."  In the darkness that surrounds us, He is our Light, our Hope and our Redemption.
6.     He has called us to be light in this world.  Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” 
7.     There is light at the end of the tunnel and wise people follow that light.  During the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites followed the light that appeared as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  That light was the Shekinah glory of God that both led them and protected them.  The Magi followed the star, the supernatural light, that led them to the Christ Child in Bethlehem.  Jesus is still the Light and knows the way through the morass of this life.  All we have to do is follow.
8.     Avoid the trap of doubt, fear and unbelief.  Rise up, take your candle and go light your world.

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