1. Lighting your Menorah. Tonight we begin our celebration of Hanukkah. Let’s begin by lighting the middle candle in your Menorah and one candle on the far side. The typical Menorah consists of eight candles with an additional raised candle in the middle. The extra candle is called a shamash, which in Hebrews mean “attendant.”
2. G_d is light. Read Genesis 1:1-5. Did you notice that G_d takes less than six verses in the opening pages of scripture to tell you the most defining aspects of his character . . . light. 1 John1:5 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: G_d is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” How else might you describe G_d?
3. Satan pretends to be light. Read Isaiah 14:12-15 and 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. These verses talk about Satan and how he came into being. Did you notice what he likes to portray himself as? An angel of light. Who do you think he is trying to imitate?
4. Adam and Eve lose their light. Read Genesis 3:1-24. Here we have the account of how mankind fell into sin and broke his fellowship with G_d. What happened when Adam and Eve sinned? They wanted to hide and be in dark places.
5. G_d makes a covenant with Adam and Eve. Read Genesis 3:15. This single verse is one of the most important in all of scripture. I call it the “Atom Bomb” of the Old Testament. Theologians have named this verse by the latin term, Protoevangelium or “First Gospel.” In the Bible, “Gospel” means “Good News.” So the “Good News” that G_d is announcing in this verse concerns his promise to send a Savior to save mankind from their sin. In doing so, G_d will also ensure the eventual destruction to Satan’s power and influence upon this earth.
The verses you have read here in Genesis 3 have come to be known as The Adamic Covenant. By covenant, G_d promises to Adam and Eve to send a Savior to make salvation possible from sin. Not because they deserved it or had earned it, but solely because G_d promised it. This will be the first of five covenants that G_d will make with mankind throughout scripture.
Complete your first night of Hanukkah by singing one or two of your favorite carols. Playing a game of dreidels would be a fun family activity. Review the rules from the blog two days ago and have fun. Now you are almost done for the night, only let the candles burn themselves out. Do not blow them out. Hanukkah candles are special candles. By letting them burn out completely, it reminds us of the miracle of the first Hanukkah lamp that was supposed to burn for just one night but instead it burned continually for eight days. What a miracle.
From our family to yours, Happy Hanukkah and shalom.
photo by D. Mike Collins