Tonight is the beginning of The Feast of Dedication. This is when our family re-evaluates our lives and our homes to see if any pagan things has infiltrated it, and to then cleanse the temple (ourselves) from these idols, as well as any hidden apathy or unbelief, and re-dedicate ourselves and our lives to God. It is also a time for us to remember God’s miracles in our lives.
The Jews refer to this Holy Day as Hanukkah, while others think of it as The Festival of Lights.
Some claim that Jesus Christ himself, celebrated The Feast of Dedication. John 10:22-23 “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.” Others claim he did not celebrate it, but used it to speak out against those who were against Him. It is also when He said in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
There was a time when I had sworn to never celebrate Hanukkah, for it held too many pagan practices for my comfort. We have been able to separate this celebration from what the Jews have added to it over the years, so we now celebrate it, hopefully in His Spirit. It helps us to focus on Jesus instead of all the pagan idolatry that goes on in the world at this time.
We do not use the nine candled menorah, for it was something man came up with. (Some also claim that 9 is an evil number.) We have sensed and seen demons around nine candled menorahs, even with oil lights. We have yet to see them around a seven candled menorah with oil lights. Seven branched menorahs are described in detail in the old testament. The nine candled menorah is not found in the bible at all. Wax candles can attract demons, depending on where they came from and who made them, so we do not use them. Even if they are made by a Jewish company specifically for the Holy Day, they may have been made and blessed by a rabbi, which might carry the demon of priest-craft with it. So we avoid all use of candles in ours, and use olive oil and fabric wicks instead, just as they did in the Old Testament. For us, the menorah is a symbol and a reminder that God is in control. The center light represents God, and all the other candles that stem out from it, shows how all we do and the strength that we have comes directly from the Lord.
We re-tell the miracles and answered prayers that have happened in our lives, for during this time, “Jesus pointed out to His listeners that the miracles He had done authenticated His claim that He was, indeed, the long-awaited Jewish Messiah (see John 10:37-38)…It also reminds us to remain true to God even when the world around us tries to force us into assimilation.”
According to our God, every new day begins at sunset. This is when we light the menorah. Usually the mother of the family lights them and says:
“Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments.”
“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.”
“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.”
Then the first candle is lit.
Then she says: “We kindle these lights to commemorate the saving acts, miracles and wonders, which You have performed for our forefathers, in those days at this time. We also remember the miracles and answered prayers that You have gifted us with in our own lives. We offer thanks and praise to Your great name, for Your miracles, for Your wonders, and for Your salvations.”
On the next night of The Feast of Dedication, two lights are lit instead of just one. (The same verbal dedication is given each time.) On the third day, three lights are lit, and so on, until all the lights are lit. Then on the remaining days, we either light all the lights again, or we light them according to what day of the week it is. (Friday evening would have all the lights burning, and Saturday evening would only have one light lit. Sunday would have two, and so forth.)
On each night, we recite scriptures out loud, (you might try http://heartofwisdom.com/biblicalholidays/2013/12/03/hanukkah-readings-for-eight-nights/ for ideas on this,) discuss them, and then share with each other a miracle or answered prayer that we experienced in our lives, especially within the past year. We then have dinner, and perhaps partake in a board game, or bake some kind of desert, or do something else that involves the whole family. During the day is when we look within ourselves and talk to God, to take personal inventory and re-dedicate ourselves back to Him. Sometimes this means shutting ourselves up in a room and just spend time reading His Word, and for others it means taking a long hike out in nature to be with Him.
The Feast of Dedication is not listed in the bible as one of God’s Feasts that must be followed. I share with you how our family celebrates this Feast, in order to give just one possible example of how a believer might celebrate it. If you feel God calling you to celebrate it differently, then please follow Him and do so! Our family’s example is not to be taken as a must-do. It is simply a glimpse into a time in our lives that the Lord has told me to share with you. Remember, Colossians 2:16 says “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” “Every believer in Yahuwshuwa is now under the royal priesthood of Melchizedek (1st Peter 2:9), and so we do not need to do the temple ceremonial laws when keeping feasts. We can be led by the Holy Spirit in how we keep these holy days.” (http://doubleportioninheritance.blogspot.com/2011/09/december-25th-birth-of-antichrist_22.html)
May the Holy Spirit bring you and keep you tucked under the Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, especially in this season!