This 7th day of Hanukkah post was written by my friend, Theresa Miles.
Growing up as an Italian Catholic in New York, everyone I knew was either like me or Jewish. We were all great friends, coming and going from one another’s homes, accepting and loving one another. I was fascinated by the traditions, love, food, and devotion of my Jewish friends to the same God I had. I understood that my Savior was Jewish. But, if our bible is was written by His people and the only scriptures our Savior had, then why were my Jewish friends and I so different in our beliefs? Or were we?
Since then, God has enlightened me to the Hebrew Roots of my faith. The beauty in His holidays now shows me that Christians and Jews are more alike than different. The problem has been people changing His Word to fit their ideas. One of the most empowering festivals for all of Gods people is Hanukkah – which means to dedicate the Temple back to God. What’s not to love about the many levels of understanding right there?
I think of Hanukkah as a time once a year that I can make adjustments and re-dedicate myself, my choices, and my spirituality while cleaning out my temple of those things that ought not be there.
Make it a time to find that lamp stand in your heart, rekindle it by lavishing His word and soaking the wick of your spirit in the pure oil of truth.
Hanukkah is a time when a line was drawn in the sand. The enemies of God arrogantly erected their own image in His holy place and demanded worship. It reminds me that lines are drawn in the sand every day and we choose where to stand. Do we stand boldly by what we believe, or cower and slip over to the other side because it’s easier? Do we slide to the other side because we start believing their words? Or is His Word in your mind stronger, showing you what is true, right, and honorable?
It’s a time to think about how it only took one person to make a difference. And with one person courage became contagious! One man stood up and said “I will be bold and speak the truth even when others are afraid.”
As the world gets darker, I often find myself being the one person holding the line saying, NO! I set the standard and I will not be moved. I stand firm on the rock, just like the Maccabees. It’s tough, but in the end people know if you are a person of stability and conviction. They test, they push, they want to indulge in every new thing that shows up but you show them there is peace on the path! There is light in your house and that only comes from the truth of Godly principles lived out.
It’s the same story for us today. God put us in this world. The rebels are everywhere, but we have all authority and power in Christ Jesus. Don’t be afraid. Walk around speaking truth. Keep the enemy out – that’s our job! Be bold; let the anointing of the oil and His light flow out of you, cleansing the earth and bringing order into chaos!
Go re-dedicate your home, town, country back to God. You can do it. And your courage will be contagious.
Remember: Hanukkah is not just a Jewish thing, it’s a God thing!!!