By: Mali Rozen
What significance does the Hanukkah holiday hold for followers of Messiah Yeshua? Surely, it is more than lighting candles for eight nights on a beautiful menorah (hanukkiah), and eating jelly-filled doughnuts!
While those traditions are wonderful and hold special significance for many people, there is a spiritual lesson for us in this wonderful holiday. In the book of John, Yeshua says:
“I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (TLV)
I am reminded of the Jewish tradition where one places the lit menorah on a windowsill for others to see it from outside the home. Not only does it signal to others that we are celebrating the holiday, but it also reminds others of God's faithfulness to His people. For followers of Messiah, I suggest that Hanukkah should also remind us of the great light we have received through Yeshua.
Indeed, it's not enough to just say we believe in Messiah Yeshua, but we also must model to others what it means to believe by the way we live our lives. Yeshua taught His disciples about the importance of shining their light:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (TLV)
So, in the same way that we place the menorah on the windowsill to remind others of His faithfulness, let us also shine His light to others as a witness of Him!
How do we shine His light to others? There are many ways. First and foremost, it is about being open to the Holy Spirit's prompting and acting in love. Does the thought of someone sometimes "pop" into your mind? That could be a prompting to reach out with a phone call, or text message, just to see how that person is. Do you know a family struggling financially? Shining His light could be as simple as grabbing an extra bag of groceries or a pack of diapers the next time you head to the grocery store, letting that family know you're there for them. Or sending a meal to a single parent just to say, "I see you". It could also be as simple as showing kindness to someone who may have annoyed you, or cut you off on the road; we never know what a person is going through and a simple smile or understanding glance can make a huge impact.
Shining His light can also be about having integrity, and keeping your word. Did you promise someone to do something? Then keep your word and do it! Yeshua taught us that our "yes" should be yes and our "no", no (Matthew 5:37); being people of our word is no less important than doing a kind act for someone, standing up against an injustice, or caring for others in need. However you choose to shine His light, remember you are acting as His messenger to a hurting world.
As you light your menorah this Hanukkah, and recall all the ways God has been faithful to you, remember that you have many opportunities every day to shine His light to others. And who knows? Perhaps a simple act of loving kindness towards someone will open a door to share God's story in your own life.
Hag Hanukkah Same'ach!
Did you know? — Lone Soldier
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