Guest Blog courtesy of Bonnie Hyden
I'd like for you all to humor me a moment. What I'm going to say could be difficult for many to read. It might even anger some. But hear me out.
The days for Hanukkah and Christmas are approaching. And it seems there has come a sort of battle between the two. I'm going to try very hard to not put my personal opinion in this but to point to facts and Scripture. On the surface, the two holidays could be seen as "holy days". They both contain light. Both in a dark and cold time of year. Who wouldn't want to have light during this time? Who wouldn't want to have a bit of cheer to get us through the winter months? But I would ask the question: what is the source of that light?
If we are brave enough to look as far as we can into the source of Christmas, we will find that "Jesus" is not the reason for the season. He was an addition made in order to make the day acceptable in the Christian realm. This is not Christendom's redemption of a day...because it was never a day that belonged to that Kingdom. There is nowhere in Scripture that God tells us to remember the birth of our Savior. Yeah, I know...it seems like it would be a very good day to remember and celebrate...but God's thoughts are above my thoughts so since He never tells me to go there...I must then surmise He has a good reason for that. We're not even overtly told when Yeshua was born. We can deduce from certain texts...but God does not go out of His Way to make this information known to us. And so, "we" insisted on doing it anyhow. We say that we love our Messiah so very much we will call a day his birthday and we will light up that day...a day that was borrowed from those who served other gods. It was their light that lit this day before. But now we say it is the light of God.
Then we have Hanukkah (Chanukkah or whatever spelling you choose.) A day when mostly Jews around the world begin to light menorahs...one candle at a time...in honor of a reported miracle that took place thousands of years ago. Did the miracle of one day's worth of oil that burned for 8 days really occur? We really don't know for sure. But...there's a different question to ask here:
Are all fires (lights) created equal?
To borrow from Mr. Fohrman of AlephBeta, "Some fires are fueled by oil and wicks. Some are not. When there's only one day's worth of oil and the fire continues to burn and burn and burn...it means the oil wasn't the fuel for the fire. The fire was coming from somewhere else. The source for the light of Hanukkah isn't terrestrial oil...it's transcendent God."
The source of Christmas is not God...the source is "gods". The source of Hanukkah is in the lesson that in the dark times...the times when it seems we are unimaginably outnumbered...the times when all we can do is to be still before our God and let HIM win the battle...and He does...and then all we can do is praise Him and bask in ...HIS LIGHT! It's happened over and over and over in Scripture...
- Israel's deliverance from Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus.
- Israel's deliverance from Palestine in 1 Samuel 13 & 14.
- Israel's deliverance from Greece in the Book of Maccabees.
And why would God repeat these stories over and over? Why is it so important for us to see this light? Because these stories will be repeated again. We NEED to know that there will be dark times again. We need to know there will be a ruler who will not remember the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There will be a ruler who will attempt to blot out God's People in unthinkable ways! There will be a ruler who will attempt to change God's Times and His Ways. If you stop for just a moment...you can see it starting to take place now. You can see the dark clouds gathering and the light is getting dimmer. But...in our Heavenly Father's love and mercy...He points us back to other dark times and He says, "See these times? See these men? I want you to learn from these. I was there...I will be with you. These were My battles then...these are My battles now. They were My victories then...the victories will be Mine now. BUT...you need to know I am The Only Source of True Light. When all other lights lead you down the wrong path and they eventually go out...MY Light will continue to burn...to show You that I am always there."
All I ask of everyone reading this is that you check the source of the light of the day you celebrate. Not what you've been told is the source of your light. The Greeks told Israel that Antiochus was the source of their light...or Zeus was the source of their light...and some of Israel believed that lie. The Maccabee family, however, held firmly to the belief that God...YHVH Almighty was, is and always will be the ONLY True Source of Light. And God rewarded them with a miraculous victory...and maybe even possibly...a miraculous miracle of a light burning from the Menorah for 8 days. But after that one day's worth of oil was used up...earthly oil was no longer the source. God was The Source.
I will light the Hanukkah candles this year...that center candle especially...remembering that my Savior...my Messiah...the Suffering Servant...is the Source of my Light. And from that center light...all the other candles are lit. There is no other Source beside Yeshua Messiah. That Light will conquer all. That Light will come again as the Conquering King!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
So...after these two holidays are passed...which light is more apt to continue burning? The one who has the Everlasting Father and the King of Kings...The Creator as it's Source.
What is the source of our light in this season?