Dedicating Your Temple - [C]Hanukah/Thanksgiving
This is one of those rare years in that Hanukah and Thanksgiving overlap this year – for the first time since 1918. Hanukah began on the evening of Wednesday, November 27 and continues for eight days. It may surprise some Christians to learn that Jesus utter some of His most powerful and profound words while observing Hanukah. (See John 10:22-31 - Feast of Dedication)
Long ago in the land of Judea there was a Syrian king, Antiochus. The king ordered the Jewish people to reject the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Antiochus set out to slowly erode their customs and their beliefs and to get them worship the Greek gods through what is now known as Hellenism. However, while there were some who did as they were told, there were some who refused. One who refused was Judah Maccabee.
Judah and his four brothers formed an army and chose as their name the word "Maccabee", which means hammer. After three years of fighting, the Maccabees were finally successful in driving the Syrians out of Israel and rededicating the Temple in Jerusalem. (The name Hanukah derives from the Hebrew verb ‘chânak’ which means to dedicate – see Deuteronomy 20:5)
Upon purging the Temple of all pagan symbols, they wanted to light the eternal light however there was but a tiny jug of oil to be found with only enough for a single day. The oil lamp was filled and lit. Then a miracle occurred as the tiny amount of oil stayed lit not for one day, but for eight days.
This Thanksgiving, whether you are fighting persecution or fleeing it just as those early pilgrims did let us remember to keep our temples dedicated (1 Corinthians 6:19), keep our lamps full (Matthew 25:4) and be encourage by the words of Jesus once spoken at Hanukah long ago.
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)
May you all enjoy the blessing of family!
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)