As a family, we love to celebrate Christmas, not the tinsel and glamor, but the preciousness of gathering together as a family. We also love to remember the most amazing event in the world when God sent His Son to this world—into the womb of a woman and to be born as a little baby.
Bible commentators agree that Jesus was not born at this Christmas time when the world remembers His birth. He would most probably have been born about the month of September during the Feast of Tabernacles. However, this is most probably that time that He was divinely conceived by the power of the of Holy Ghost. Incredible. God coming to the earth as a "seed" from the Father. I am in awe.
We sing the words of O Holy Night:
“Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!”
I am sure you are like me and can do nothing less than fall to your knees in wonder and worship!
However, we also love to celebrate Hanukkah which, this year, begins tonight on Christmas Eve. We love to light the Hanukkah candles each night and to also read Scriptures about the Light during our morning and evening devotions.
Hanukkah begins tonight and tomorrow is Day One. We celebrate it for eight days. Why do we celebrate Hanukkah?
1. It is a celebration that Jesus celebrated. Read John 10:22, 23.
2. Hanukkah in the Hebrew means "dedication." God's temple was desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 BC, but the Maccabees family led a revolt against the Seleucid armies and called the nation back to God. After they had driven them out of Judea and Jerusalem, the Maccabees consecrated and rededicated the temple. However, God no longer lives in a temple in Jerusalem, but lives in the temple of our hearts. We like to use Hanukkah as time to rededicate the temple of our lives to God.
3. It is called the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) and also the Festival of Lights. It celebrates the re-lighting of the Menorah. They could only find enough oil for one day, but miraculously the lights kept burning for eight days while they prepared the anointing oil, specifically commanded in the Scriptures. Because this celebration remembers the relighting of the menorah, we like to read Scriptures about God and Christ who are the light and how He also wants us to be His light in this world. We do this at our Family Devotions each morning and evening. And each night we light a Hanukkah candle.
I will post the Scriptures in a separate post for you to print out for the next eight days. Read and meditate on them in your personal devotional time. Then choose the ones you would like to use with your family. For each day, you may like to take half the Scriptures at Family Devotions in the morning and the other half in the evening, or whatever works out in your home.
If you have older children, it's a lovely idea for each one to have their own Bible and give a Scripture for each one to read aloud--and to share what they feel God is saying through the Scriptures. If you have little ones, you may only want to take one, or one or two Scriptures from the list and talk about it.
And don't forget to ask your children questions as you read the Scriptures. This is how you learn together.
During the eight days of Hanukkah, I will also send out a post each day telling you a little story about Hanukkah that relates to us as mothers, or a revelation from the Scriptures about the meaning of Hanukkah. By the way, you may like to take time to read the history of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha. The books in the Apocrypha were not chosen to be part of the cannon of Scripture but the books of Maccabees, 1, 2, 3, and 4 are great historical reading and tell how the Jewish nation was saved from extinction at that time. I am sure God used these brave men to protect His natural people and especially the coming Messiah. No wonder our Savior, Jesus Christ celebrated Hanukkah.
Blessings from Nancy Campbell