Son of God
Love's Pure Light
And it came to pass that in the commencement of the ninety and second year, behold, the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully; for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people.
But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.
And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.
And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.
But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.
Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.
Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, [the current prophet] saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.
And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both fof the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.
And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.
And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand.
And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth.
For they knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many years, and that the sign which had been given was already at hand; and they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief.
And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.
You don't have to be Jewish to celebrate Hanukkah. There is much in the feast which tells us of Yeshua (Jesus), and as you go through it, you will see certain parallelisms. Because the Biblical Feasts are dated from the lunar calendar, this year in 2008, Hanukkah's first night of the 8 nights, starts on Sunday, December 21. (The Biblical calendar expresses it as the 25th day of the month Kislev). We will give a brief summary first, and then the practical tips will be listed below that.
Brief History: Hanukkah's other names are the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedication. This feast commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the wicked Greek King Antiochus and the Hellenistic Syrians, who were trying to force Jews to bow down to idols, and to stop all Jewish rituals. In 168BCE they seized the Jewish temple, and used it for worshiping Zeus. Some Jews were so full of fear that they did not retaliate; but a small yet tough Jewish family called the Maccabees, led by the priestly Hasmoneans, revolted at Modi'in, and stood up for righteousness, thereby saving the Jewish race. One of them called Mattathius, rose up and slew a fellow Jew who had weakened by offering to comply to pagan worship, thereby betraying the Jews. Mattathius also killed the Greek officer who had demanded Jews worship idols and eat pig, both of which are forbidden in the Torah. (If he had not done this, the Jews would have been wiped out, and our Jewish Messiah Yeshua would never have been born to save us.) After this brave encounter, they found much destruction in the temple, so in 165BCE they cleaned it up and rededicated the ransacked temple that Antiochus had used to put a non-“kosher” pig on the altar. The idea of lighting the candles comes from the fact that a real miracle happened after the Maccabees found only one flask of oil left to light the damaged temple “m'norrah”, and it actually stayed lit for 8 days amidst great celebrations!
Do try to keep your commemoration of the event separate from Christmas. That is easy to do when the dates do not collide, but this year they DO! Here are some guidelines as to how you can celebrate Hanukkah nightly right in your home.
1) Buy or make a “hanukkiah” (haw–noo–KEE-yah). That's a 9 sticked candelabra. Buy enough candles for lighting fresh ones each of the 8 nights = 72. They don't have to be big ones – the little ones are available at Jewish stores, and sometimes at supermarkets. You can buy a “hanukkiah” from a Jewish store on-line [or from etsy]. Sometimes you can find them in second-hand stores too, or make your own!.
2) At nightfall, someone (even a child) lights the first candle – and light the end candle first. You can look up the Hanukkah prayers to read. After this, put out your match and use the end candle, the “shamash” (sha-MASH) , the “servant candle” to light the first candle. (Sometimes it's on the extreme right and sometimes it stands in the centre by itself. Put the “shamash” back into its place. And then stop - don't blow out either candle!) That's all you light the first night. The second night, you add one more, and then the third night, the third one as well, till the last night when ALL the candles are lit – still by the “shamash” which lights all the rest throughout the week – not the SAME candle, as it is fresh each night. To us as Christians, we see the parallelism in our Messiah Who took upon Himself to be a servant to us all, Who “lights” up our lives!
3) Recite the “hallel” - Ps. 11-118.
4) Sing a Hannukah song. Here is one that has a recording, and Hebrew and English words written out below. Or sing any worship song you know that has to do with LIGHT or DEDICATION or STANDING strong. Merla Watson has written several songs for Christians to sing at Hanukkah - here's one called “Father of Lights”. Look it up on our web site: www.mervandmerla.co It's listed under “New Messianic Songs” in a book with many feast songs in it.
5) Cook the traditional food (Google this = Hannukah traditional food or recipes), or order from a Jewish delicatessen or supermarket grocery store ahead of time. First the “latkes” (LAT-kuz) = shredded potato pancakes served with homemade apple sauce, and “suvgani'ot” (soov-ga-nee-OHT) = jelly filled donuts. Recipes of both can be found on the Internet. Just Google it. Lots of folks have a “latke” making party beforehand or as even part of their party the same night.
6) Traditionally, small gifts are exchanged during this time as well.
7) Find a small “dreidel” (special spinning top) at a Jewish store, or order one on-line. It has a big Hebrew letter on each side of its square sides, which is an acronym of 4 Hebrew alphabet letters standing for: “A big miracle happened there!” During the time of persecution in ancient history, while the Jews were really studying Torah, if they heard the Greek soldiers at the door, they quickly snatched their “dreidels” from their pockets, pretending to be playing with them, and not reading Torah. There are “dreidel” games and other Hanukkah games on the Internet.
8) Appoint someone to read the story of Hannukah.
9) If you are part of a community, you could have the festivities at a different home each night.
10) Try to involve kids as much as possible – in the lighting of the “Hannukiah”, in baking cookies, in helping with the cooking or baking, in singing along with the songs, and in playing games with the “dreidel”.
And by the way, Hanukkah is not pronounced "han" as in our word "hand" but you pronounce it "haw" as in "HOLLow". So it would sound "HAW=noo-kaw". Even better if you can do a guttural sound for the first "H" - like the German "iCH" or the Scottish "LOCH Lomond". THERE! You HAVE it! You can find other information about Hanukkah on our web site under the BLOG button or under the FEASTS button.
I just got back from some SERIOUS BACKWOODS BUSHWHACKING to get a Christmas tree. With a 30lb toddler on my back no less.
"Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist..."His real name was Nicholas, and he lived in the third century in what is now Turkey. He was a Catholic Bishop who was imprisoned for his faith. He saved children and sailors and gave money to the poor. He is the patron and protector of children, virgins, sailors, students, paupers, and all who are in trouble or need. December 6th is the anniversary of his death. The story of how a kindly bishop came to be the fat elf Santa Claus can be seen (literally, with lots of pictures) here.