For many, the end of the year is an exciting time. There are harvest festivals, Thanksgiving dinners with family, and the countdown to Christmas. These moments are usually experienced under the banner of joy that floods our homes and hearts. For the Church, we know that Jesus is at the center of all of these events. As we journey from Thanksgiving’s gratitude for provision to Christmas’ joy of our Savior’s birth, there are many who do so by celebrating Hanukkah.
This eight-day journey uncovers the glory of Jesus through oil and light, the symbols at the center of all Hanukkah celebrations. The most defining characteristics of Hanukkah are the oil and the light of the menorah that was supernaturally sustained for eight days despite having only enough oil to keep the light burning for one. These two items, oil and light, permeate the Scriptures, making it impossible to miss the power and majesty of Christ Jesus.
Scripture: Gen 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
Teach: Throughout the ages, we have heard poets, politicians, and philosophers alike talk about the power of the spoken word. Wars have started and ceased based on the power of certain words that have been spoken. Relationships have been enhanced and dismantled on the power and timing of words spoken. Since words truly are a powerful commodity, I think it would be good to look at the first ever-recorded words in history. When we read the Torah, we see in the first chapter of the book of Genesis, God said, “Let there be light,” and indeed there was light.
When we read this portion of the Torah, we are made aware that God did not create this world and the universe in which it dwells by His hands, but by His words. Out of nothing, God spoke everything into existence. So when we read the words, “Let there be light,” it is like a cosmic light switch being turned on. Darkness could no longer cloak the world like a heavy blanket. Light had come.
When I consider the creative power of God’s words and realize that we are made in His image, I feel a strong conviction rising up within me that challenges me to choose my words carefully. Solomon said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Our words should echo those first recorded words of God. Our words should be words of light, love, and unity, not words of darkness, hate, and divisiveness. Jesus’ words were always very powerful — often so powerful that some would seek to kill Him. Nevertheless, love Him or hate Him, anyone that heard Jesus’ words understood that they came with power. Remember the story of the temple guards? They were not “fans of Jesus,” but when they returned to the chief priests and Pharisees without Jesus in their possession, they were asked, “Why did you not bring Him here?” Their response was that they had never heard a man speak as Jesus had spoken. They heard power in His words. Even if they did not like Him, they recognized the power of the words Christ spoke.
Prayer: Lord, help me bring light into the lives of those around me with godly words that have the power to bless.