I am starting to get excited. Hanukkah is coming, and it has been such a blessing to celebrate over the past few years.
In 2013, my family decided to not celebrate Christmas anymore. It was a slow, and painful separation process. The Lord opened my eyes to some things that I could no longer ignore, but it really boils down to the fact that I believe Christmas mixes a lot of holy things with the profane, and I want to honor God in the best way possible.
I know that in my flesh, I will never be perfect. But the Lord wants us to pursue righteousness, and I know the Lord put it on my heart to give up Christmas. So I did.
We didn’t immediately begin celebrating Hanukkah. After all, I thought that it was a Jewish holiday, and I am not Jewish. But the more I learned about it, the more I wanted to do something to remember it in our home.
Hanukkah is considered a minor holiday, since it is not commanded to be celebrated by God. To my family, it is a historical holiday that points to the Lord’s sovereign hand over the nation of Israel. He preserved the lineage necessary for our Messiah to be born.
It is a holiday similar to Purim, found in the book of Esther. Both celebrations commemorate God’s faithfulness to His people.
“Hanukkah” means dedication, and it is a great time to reflect and dedicate our lives fully to the Lord. Just as the temple was rededicated in the Hanukkah story, we can do this now for our own temple, or body. We can ask the Lord to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and to show us changes we can make in our lives to better serve Him.
Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights. Each night, we read a Hanukkah for Christians devotional, which touches on Jesus being the light of the world. As His disciples, we should shine God’s light, too.
I’ve also begun to compile a list of resources to use while celebrating Hanukkah. These are a few of them:
Above Rubies Hanukkah Scriptures (While you are on the Above Rubies website, be sure to search for nightly Hanukkah devotionals.)
This year, we plan to have a devotional time each evening when we light candles and give gifts to our children. Last year, I purchased blue tote bags for each of my kiddos. I wrote their name on it, and each night we put a small gift inside. Honestly, it is fun, but I think next year I will switch our main gift giving over to the Feast of Tabernacles. This is a major feast day, and one of the explanations as to why Hanukkah is eight days long is because during the war, the Jewish people were not able to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles that year, which is also eight days. I want to make sure I am giving more importance to the Feast of Tabernacles, then to Hanukkah.
Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, and we are looking forward to it. Hopefully I will be able to post bits and pieces of our celebration here.
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today. May the Lord bless you!