Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Festival of Lights

The northwest experienced a giant wind storm this last week and many were left without power. Our power went out on Thursday night right before midnight and didn't return until Saturday morning at about 4am. Noah and I had a quiet day at home and while the sun was shining we didn't miss having electricity all that much. However, once the sun began to set it was whole different story.

I had used up all the firewood Geary had brought into the house earlier that morning and we were starting to lose heat. As the sky got darker and darker our apartment became more hazardous. I couldn't do anything without light. Despite living here for over three years I still bumped into walls and furniture and felt disoriented in my dark surroundings.

So, I started lighting candles. I lit three candles in the living room, the giant candle behind our couch, a couple candles in the kitchen, one in the bathroom. And then I spotted our Hannukkah menorah. And I had to chuckle. Friday night at sundown was the official start of Hanukkah.

Technically, I should have only lit the first candle. But I lit them all. You see, I was desperate for light. And that is the point of Hannukah. The Jews were also desperate for light when they reclaimed the temple. It had been desecrated and they had worked tirelessly to restore it. When it came time to rededicate the temple they only had enough oil to light the lampstand for one day. But God provided enough oil to last for eight days.

My family celebrates Hannukah because we believe we can celebrate all the ways God has provided for his people. We like the traditions and the beauty of the Hebrew prayers. But most of all we like that in celebrating the light that God provided for the Jews, we can also celebrate the Light that God provided for all people.

You probably don't celebrate Hanukkah in your house, but at our house we'll be praying that this week you find new desperation for the Light of the World and that through him you experience peace and hope until he comes again.

Nes Gaddol Haya Sham! (A great miracle happened there!) and Shalom!


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