Hey friends. This blog is going to be brief. Jenny and I are on our way out of town to play at a couple of Messianic congregations; we will be celebrating the beginning of Chanukah with them. (If you'd like to know more, please check out our website: martygoetz.com)
Yes, it's the "Feast of Dedication"; eight days commemorating the victory of the Maccabbees, a Jewish family that rallied Israel to overcome the oppression of their Syrian-Greek enemies and recover their land and their temple. The rededication of that temple is the focal point of the Chanukah celebration.
Legend has it that there was only enough sacred oil left in the devastated and defiled house of worship to keep the "menorah", the lampstand, lit for only one night; it had to burn continually in keeping with the law of G-d. However---"a great miracle happened there!"---and the lamp burned for eight days, filling the temple with light and allowing enough time to replenish the supply of consecrated oil.
Thus, we remember this glorious event with the lighting of the "hannukiyah"- an eight branched menorah - illuminated night by night by night, all the candles being lit by the ninth candle called the "servant candle".
Though we are in the midst of the Christmas season, many don't know that the one whose birthday is celebrated this month celebrated Chanukah!
"Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus (Yeshua) walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch." (John 10: 22-23)
And so, we begin the feast, also called the "Festival of Light". We will light the first candle on the menorah, spin the dreydl - a top - and eat "latkes"- potato pancakes, a traditional Hanukah food. We will sing songs, recalling what the God of Israel did - and continues to do - for his people.
Most of all, we will "re-dedicate" our temples - our bodies, our minds, our lives - to the service of our Lord. We will pray to truly be "the light of the world" that our savior, Yeshua, called us to be.
After all, He is "the light of the world"; and He shines - not just for eight days - but FOREVER!
Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas!
Oh, and, by the way, if you'd like a CD featuring songs for these beloved holidays, we have one! It's called "Festivals of Light"; it was produced beautifully by Tom Howard - and I think you'd enjoy it. It might also make a good gift for a friend or loved one. Once again, you can see it at "martygoetz.com". Okay, enough commercials!
My family and I hope you have a wonderful, fruitful, delightful, and enjoyable holiday season!!
Shalom, Peace, in the Prince of Peace, Yeshua - Jesus!!!
G-d bless us everyone.