We want to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah from all of us at Real Jesus Ministries. Our prayer for you and your family is that you continue to be blessed in 2012, and that you will grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah.
Our family is celebrating Hanukkah (the Festival of Lights) this year instead of Christmas (a pagan holiday – see our article, “When was Jesus Christ actually born?”). Hanukkah begins at sundown December 20th and continues for eight days through December 28th. Each day a new candle is lit and prayer is made to Yahovah God – thanking Him for sending His Son Jesus the Messiah to be the light of the world, praising Jesus as the Savior of all who will trust in His substitionary death on the cross for their sins.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
Jesus never celebrated Christmas, nor did He ever command us to celebrate December 25th as His birthday. Instead, Scripture records that Jesus celebrated the Feast of Hanukkah, which was customary during the winter month of December:
“It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade.” – John 10:22-23
Above is a photo of my wife Vickie kneeling next to our Menorah* table (which we use as a substitute for the pagan Christmas tree). As you can see, our Hanukkah gifts are already growing in number underneath. Our grandchildren are especially anxious to open them up, but not until the 28th of December!
Again, Happy Holidays to all of our friends and supporters.
In Jesus’ name,
Pastor Luis Yosefus
* The Hanukkah Menorah is a nine-branched candelabrum lit during the eight-day holiday of Hanukkah, as opposed to the seven-branched Menorah used in the ancient Jewish Temple. The ninth holder, called the shamash (“helper” or “servant”), is for a candle used to light all other candles.
Background story: Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple after the successful Jewish revolt against the Seleucid monarchy. The Jews found only enough ritually pure olive oil to light the menorah for one day, but the supply lasted eight days until a new supply could be obtained. In celebration of this miracle, the Hanukkah menorah has eight branches for eight candles or oil lamps.