SABBATH SERVICE & HANUKKAH CELERBRATION
Join us for Sabbath Service and Hanukkah Celebration Lunch on December 8th.
Corporate Prayer 10 a.m.
Sabbath Service 11 a.m.
Hanukkah Potluck 1-3 p.m.
Location: Boise Vineyard located at 4950 N. BRADLEY ST. BOISE, ID 83714. Bring a lunch dish for your family and a little extra to share with community.
Hope to see you there!
Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration, also know as the “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers/liturgy and of course…fried foods.
Hanukkah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple.
In 165 BCE, the Holy land was ruled by Antiochus Epiphanes IV and the Greek army. Like many rulers throughout history, he tried to wipe out Israel by forcing them to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of observance and belief in God. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.
We see miracles in Hanukkah because a few untrained soldiers triumphed over a multitude of powerful enemies (Zechariah 4:6). As it has been so many times in the history of Israel, Yahweh worked a miracle of victory. Through divine intervention, He stood in the midst of Israel and made them victorious over the power of the enemy. And, Yahweh is still a miracle-working God today. We’re called to believe He will exalt His name over our enemies and do miracles on our behalf (Psalm 13).
The tradition of lighting eight candles for eight days comes from another miracle of Hanukkah. When the victorious Maccabees began cleansing and rededicating the Temple to the worship of Yahweh, they found only one small jar of specially prepared oil that could be used in the Temple’s Menorah. While they waited for more oil to be prepared (which took eight days), in faith they decided to use what they had. As the tradition says, it miraculously burned for eight days. This, again, reminds us of God’s miraculous provision, which He gives in answer to the faith and obedience of His people.
During the time of Jesus, Hanukkah became known for deliverance and rededication (John 10:22). God’s deliverance of Israel and the Maccabees was remembered. It was also considered the time to rededicate their lives to His ways no matter the cost—this being a spiritual response to the physical reality of the cleansed Temple. When the Messiah came, this spiritual lesson became a living reality. Through the life and ministry of Jesus, the people of His generation saw the fulfillment of Isaiah 9:2: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” This gives great significance to Jesus’ claim to be the light of the world (John 8:12). As the light of the world, we dedicate our entire lives to walking in His ways no matter what the cost might be.
The Temple was dedicated, so to, the people dedicated themselves to God and His ways. The lives of Mattathias and Judah Maccabee are testimonies of men who realized obeying God was more important than obeying men (Acts 4:19, 20). The fight against the kingdom of darkness and the surrounding culture is not just to be free but also to embrace the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the holiness to which He has called us.
Hanukkah calls us to see and receive the light of the Messiah once again. Jesus is the light of the world. The miracle of lights during Hanukkah calls us to remember it’s a miracle we have the light of the Messiah. At Hanukkah, we are to rejoice and celebrate the light and life we have received through Jesus.
Hanukkah calls us to stand against assimilation with anything that is ungodly, false, impure, or defiled. There is an assault on God’s people in every generation. That assault is sometimes direct as with the events of the first Hanukkah, or Christian persecution throughout the ages. Sometimes, the assault is indirect like it is in many Western cultures. As with money, power, materialism, immorality, and many other evils that call us into compromise. Yahweh calls us to stand. To rid our lives of defiling ways, and know that His light is the life of men (John 1:4).