Hanukkah: The Place and the Space
As we approach the days of Hanukkah, starting at sundown on 28 November this year, the coffee shops in Israel get a bit of a makeover. As with many celebrations, certain foods go along hand in hand with them and Hanukkah is no exception. The regular variety of cakes and sweet delights on shelves and counter tops make way for a plethora of sufganiot (doughnuts), and along the street, pop-up stands appear miraculously laden with more cream-filled, frosting-smothered, jam-bulging, sprinkle-topped doughnuts than you could imagine the entire community could eat through! When it comes to doughnuts and Hanukkah, it seems there is always some space to be made and a place prepared - by the vendors selling them and for our tummy’s consuming them!
In fact, making space and preparing a place is a lot of what the Hanukah celebration is about. After the Temple in Jerusalem was desecrated in 2BC by the Syrian-Greek rulers of the day, it was in no state to host the presence of Adonai. When the Maccabees revolted and reclaimed the Temple, the place where God’s essence had once hovered and dwelt needed cleaning out, purifying, preparing, so it was ready to host the presence of a Holy and Almighty God, the King of the Universe. The word Hanukah, simply means ‘dedication’, and in order to dedicate the Temple, space needed to be made and the place prepared within it, so it was ready to host God’s presence once again.
Such a time and season provokes us to consider the dedication of our own lives to God. Where have I allowed spaces in my temple - my body, heart and life, to become defiled by things that I’ve allowed in, things that may not do anything to make the presence of Yeshua welcome and sovereign? In order to dedicate my life wholly to a Holy God, it is important for me to prepare a place for His presence to settle, to dwell, to reign. And so we invite you to join in this season of dedication, of Hanukkah - for yourselves and as we journey together, with Jewish and Arab Israelis who love Yeshua and are busy preparing a place for him in the hearts and lives of all they meet…and if you manage a doughnut or two on the way - enjoy!
HANUKKAH 2021: Begins in the evening of Sunday 28th November and ends in the evening of Monday 6th December