Latkes and jelly doughnuts
On Hanukkah, it is customary to eat potato latkes and jelly doughnuts. These treats, which are fried in oil, remind us of the miracle of the jug of oil that burned for eight days.
Psalm 119:105 and Psalm 119:130 describe the light that comes from
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. The
unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the
When we read God’s word, the Bible, God gives us His light. He allows us to see things that will encourage us, convict us, and motivate us to follow Him more closely. He allows us to see things that we should be doing and things that we should not. Wisdom and understanding are found in the pages of the Bible.
Messiah Yeshua is the greatest light of all:
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light
shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (John
As Messiah Yeshua was in the Temple in Jerusalem watching the
illuminating lights, He declared: “I am the light of the world; he who
follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of
life” (John 8:12).
Aged Simeon was promised by the Lord that he would not die until
he saw Israel’s Messiah. When he saw Yeshua as an infant in the Temple,
he knew that this One was the light of Israel and the Nations. Simeon
declared: “My eye have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in
the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the gentiles,
and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).
For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One
who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Messiah (2 Corinthians 4:6).
After we come to know Messiah, we are to be a source of light for the
world. King Messiah tells us in Matthew 5:14-16:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be
hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure,
but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
What we learned:
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Candle Five pictures the baby Jesus as the greatest light of all. Simeon testified to it. John, the apostle, writes about it. Then Candle Six makes the application to believers to be lights to the whole world. Live it, teach it, proclaim it, to all who will listen.
Our world is BLINDED by the wrong kind of lights. The holiday displays, commercial and residential, fails to portray the God of all creation, who was virgin born, sent to provide salvation to all, and who would eventually die on a cross for the sins of all mankind. They fail to pay reverence to God’s Son, second person of the trinity, and soon coming Judge.
So we have a choice to make. How will we celebrate Christmas this year? Will we follow the true light or a fake. Is Christmas, for us, still about Jesus and his birth or is it about the bells and baubles of commercialism? Each of us must decide and then act decisively.
The lights of the Hanukkah lamp can teach us a lot.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001