Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What does Hanukkah mean?

The word Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word which means to dedicate. The Feast of Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Dedication or the Festival of Lights, commemorates the Jews regaining control over Jerusalem and rededicating the Temple. The temple had been desecrated by the invading Seleucid armies of Antiochus in 167 BC. A Jewish priest, Mattathias, and his five sons (known as the Maccabees) led a revolt and called the nation back to God. He said, "If all the nations of the king's dominion harken unto him, yet I and my sons will walk in the covenant of our fathers."

After the invading armies were driven out of Judea and Jerusalem, the Maccabees consecrated the Temple and rededicated the Holy of Holies. There wasn't enough oil to keep the Temple menorah burning throughout the week-long dedication, but somehow the candles never went out. To me, this story is symbolic of you, God's covenant saint and your commitment to keep the light of the Holy Spirit shining brightly in your life. May that light burn brighter than ever for God's glory during this next year.

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