Living Worship in a Living Temple
The Eighth Night of Chanukah – A New Way to Kindle the Chanukah Lights
Before You Begin…
Rock of Ages, let our song praise Thy saving power. Thou, amidst the raging foes, wast our Sheltering Tower. Furious they assailed us, but Thine Arm availed us; and Thy Word broke their sword when our own strength failed us.
Kindling new the holy lamps, priests, approved in suffering, purified the nation’s shrine, brought to God their offering. And His courts surrounding hear, in joy abounding, happy throngs, singing songs with a mighty sounding.
Children of the martyr race, whether free or fettered, wake the echoes of the songs where ye may be scattered. Yours the message cheering that the time is nearing, which will see all men free, tyrants disappearing.
Words: by Mordecai, 14th Century; Music: “Maoz Tsur,” German Ashkenazic melody
This hymn tells in song the victories God has won for Israel and His miraculous work of preserving a people called out to be dedicated to Him forever. The Apocryphal books of the first and second book of the Maccabees relate the sorrows of Israel’s oppression–a correcting work of God to draw them back to Him–and the saving miracle, against all the odds, of keeping His promises to His people…
The Bible tells us that Yeshua made a promise of an even greater miracle—a promise made by God to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3.15; Leviticus 26.13; 1 John 3.8). He taught that people who believe in Him would have new lives dedicated to God; they would belong to Him forever (Exodus 6.7; John 10.27-30). Yeshua made the promise to people who believe in Him that the Spirit of God Himself would come to live in them forever (Leviticus 26.11-12; John 14.16-18). The Bible also tells us that the teachers who knew Yeshua explained this new life as being living temples or temples of the Holy Spirit, forever dedicated to God (Numbers 11.29; Ezekiel 11.19-20; 1 Corinthians 6.19).
1 Corinthians 6.19-20 reminds all who believe in Messiah Yeshua that a great miracle has happened in them. Faith in the Lord Jesus has made them living temples—temples alive with the Holy Spirit: “…Do you not know that your body is the temple of Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s!”
Dedicate Your Talent: From the very beginning, the work given by God as a gift to us as those formed in His own image and likeness has been to “increase and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 1.28) Is the work you do each day that which glorifies you and makes a name for yourself above God—to be “FAMOUS?” Or is the work you are pursuing with your God-given talent that which increases His Name and His Kingdom and His glory upon this planet?
The Shepherd’s Voice:
- Deuteronomy 6.5
- Exodus 35.25-26,30-35
- Matthew 25.14-30
- Romans 6.13; 1 Corinthians 14.12
Kindle the Eighth Light:
Say a New Blessing: “Blessed are You, O LORD, our God, King of the universe! You whose cunning and skill is higher than all the craftsmen on the earth. Who has made my body too wonderful to understand! Who has given me skill and talent to show Your glory and to be a blessing to others upon this earth. I dedicate my talents and skills to You, Lord. Protect me from being proud and boastful in the talents You have given me. Make me remember that You have given them to me by Your grace to show Your glory and to bless others. Teach me how to use them only for Your glory. In Yeshua the Messiah, my Lord and my Light, I pray. Amen.”
As oil was the precious fuel that kept the Light of Israel burning in the darkness, may the time you spend in the Word of God this season fill you to overflowing with His Oil of Joy to keep your lamp burning brightly in the darkness. And as you give your mind and heart to the Voice of Your Great Shepherd in His Word, may this precious celebration of Yeshua, the Light of the world kindle in your life a new found fire of dedication to your Great Shepherd.
[Excerpts from: A Celebration of Chanukah – The Feast of Dedication: Living Worship in a Living Temple, by Patricia Stachew, copyright 1994; and Chanukah and the Feast of Messiah, by Patricia Stachew, copyright 2003: Stillwaters Publications, Reston, VA. All rights reserved]