Sabbath Thoughts…Celebrating Hanukkah

Happy Sabbath, friends. From where I’m sitting, I can see the sky peeking in through my window. The sky is pink, and the wind is blowing the leaves to and fro. We are expecting storms today, and I’m here for it. I love the sound of rain on our roof!

I wanted to take a minute to write about the blessings I’ve seen in life lately, but my thoughts are a bit jumbled. I’m so grateful for all God has done in my life. I do feel like I’ve been a little too busy lately, though. I know I need to slow down and really take in the simple blessings He has placed around us.

We finished celebrating Hanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication, almost one week ago. It was such a sweet time. Our family stopped celebrating Christmas almost a decade ago. We felt convicted, among many things, that the Lord would not want to be worshipped amongst so many pagan customs. Try as we may, our family couldn’t find a way to remove the bad from the good, so we decided to mainly avoid it altogether.

This was a struggle for me for many years. I also struggled with the notion of Hanukkah…it was not a God-ordained feast, although it was mentioned that Jesus was in attendance in the temple in the book of John. Over the years, we have grown in understanding. Hanukkah is a good time to remember God’s deliverance of His people, just like Purim in the book of Esther. Without the events of Hanukkah, the people of Israel, and our coming Messiah, would be no more.

I believe it is one thing to take customs of man and say they are of God, and another to take customs of God (the dedication of the temple in 1 Kings for example), and then use that standard to honor the rededication of the same temple during Hanukkah.

We tend to shy away from the “legend” part of it, and do not remember the holiday in a very Jewish manner. Instead, we remember that God became flesh to come down to us and be the Light of the world. He wants us to be that light as well!

We remember that our bodies are now God’s Temple, and He wants us to dedicate our lives to Him. Sometimes, rededication is necessary if we step off of His path. I’m so thankful for His love and mercy.

We give gifts (as we do during all of the actual Biblical Feasts) to remind ourselves of the gift of salvation that the Lord has mercifully given to us.

Again, it was a really lovely time, and I’m so thankful for it.

The rest of the week has been somewhat of a blur…we’ve done lots of school work, and that’s just about all I remember. I really want to try to slow down more in the coming week!

Before the storm rolls in, I plan to step outside and enjoy the beauty of our little home place. One benefit of morning jogs is that it causes me to slow down, if only for thirty minutes, and appreciate our Father’s World. A few days ago, a HUGE flock of birds flew directly overhead. It was magnificent.

I hope you have a blessed day, friends. Happy Sabbath!

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