Chanukkah–Feast of Dedication

The Green ViolinistIllustration:  “The Green Violinist,” by Marc Chagall, oil on canvas, 1924.  [“Why do we stay up there if it so dangerous?–ed.]

“At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon” (John 10:22-23).

It’s a rather strange irony, isn’t it, that Jesus never celebrated Christmas?  His “winter holiday” was Chanukkah.  The long hot roads of summer are past, and it is winter in Judea. The rainy season has begun, and the path ahead is muddy, and striped with rivulets of running water. We see Jesus walking in the temple.  He is there for Chanukkah–The Feast of Dedication.

Though not a festival commanded by God in the Scripture, it is still a feast which Jesus attends. It is a time to remember God’s grace and protection of His people. A traditional holiday celebrated by Jewish people, it is interesting that the only mention of Chanukkah in Scripture is here in John 10. The events which Chanukkah remembers are recorded in 1 and 2 Maccabees, books of the apocrypha written during the 400 years between the ministry of the prophet Malachi and the birth of the Messiah.

Traditions are good opportunities to remember how God has shown His grace to us in the past. They are not the objects of worship, just carts we pull along on the path–carts which carry treasured memories that remind us that God forgives sins and gives us eternal life through our faith in the death and resurrection of His Son, our Messiah, Jesus.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, thank you for traditions and the value they have in remembering Your mercy for us. Help us to rededicate ourselves to You, especially today and during this season. In Y’shua’s name, Amen.

Ponder the path:  What traditions do you take with you on your path through Lent?  Wednesday night worship during Lent is not commanded by Scripture, but has become a useful tradition by which we remember the grace that God has shown us. In your worship tonight, praise Him who has shown you every mercy.

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