December 20-28, 2011
I believe this year Hanukkah spoke to me in a different way than ever before. This year I felt connected to the holiday by the similarity of circumstance. Back in the time of Judah Maccabee, they lived in a country that did not worship YHWH (the God of Israel) in spirit and in truth. Many assimilated to the beliefs of the people with which they lived, even though the many times the word of YHWH says specifically not to do such. However, there were a few brave souls who did not just “go with the flow” and go along with the crowd. They stood strong in their beliefs of following YHWH’s “instructions to live by”, called the Torah. The would NOT defile themselves with the worldly pagan things. They suffered persecution and ridicule and even death for standing strong against the oppression of the enemy, but they did not back down. I felt the strength of the story of Hanukkah for the first time this year. I too have been bashed for my beliefs to follow Torah, nowhere near to the extent of the Jewish people but enough to understand that if you walk (or attempt to walk) a path to righteousness, expect to be fought by the enemy. The story of Hanukkah inspired me to stand strong in the face of opposition.
Last year, Hanukkah was more of a “fun-filled week” but this year I just felt differently about it so we studied more and played less. I try my best to just follow where the Holy Spirit leads me but I have a tendency to try to plan everything too, which usually gets a divine “rewrite” before the day is over. That is just how HE works sometimes.
Each year I decorate with blue, silver, and white because it reminds me of winter. I love it because in Texas we rarely get any snow or any real “feel” of winter so the best I can do is recreate the “feel” inside my home by the decor.
I arranged a Hanukkah Family Meal with my parents and sisters and their family. For the meal I made some fun cookies I found on Pinterest.
We made the cookie stick candles in honor of the “festival of lights” tradition.
We also made what I called, “Texas Snowmen” cookies.
I decorated my tables with it all and turned on a YouTube video of a fireplace to have a warm cozy feel for the company.
We all ate brisket and the fixens’ and then I told the story of Hanukkah. Everyone enjoyed themselves.
This year I wanted to have my kids to a skit for my family for Hanukkah to the song “Eight Days of Hanukkah” by Orin Hatch.
We practice a week or two before Hanukkah and then I videoed it and edited it. It was very time consuming and hard to try to do it is such a short time period with everything else I had to plan.
The kids did really good for the small amount of time we had to put it together. The flaws were all me and my editing issues.
I believe as we grow in YHWH we learn more and more about why we should “keep” the feasts. Hanukkah is mentioned in the mainstream Bible once, as the feast of dedication:
John 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
John 10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
The word Hanukkah means dedication in Hebrew. As you may know, Hanukkah is not one of the feast’s YHWH called to be observed in Leviticus 23 but it is a wonderful holiday one can use to learn what it takes to serve YHWH better and because of that I celebrate it. The scriptures about Hanukkah can be found in the 1st and 2nd Book of Maccabees from the Apocrypha.
I pray we continue to “dedicate” our selves to YHWH each year during the feast of dedication known as Hanukkah!