The Festival Of Lights | The Institute for Creation Research
The Festival Of Lights

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15).

The Jewish season of Hanukkah, which begins on this date and continues for eight days, is also known as "the Festival of Lights," because of the many lights that are used to light their homes and communities during that period. The so-called "Christmas season," going on at the same time, is also marked by many lights everywhere.

The Hanukkah holidays were established long ago to commemorate the expulsion from the temple and from Jerusalem of Antiochus Epiphanes and his Syrian hosts by the Maccabees. "Hanukkah" means "Dedication" and "the feast of the dedication" is actually mentioned in John 10:22.

Exactly how and when the use of many lights to mark Hanukkah (and, for that matter, the Christmas season) originated seems uncertain. In any case, as far as Christians are concerned, we are exhorted to "shine as lights in the world." The Lord Jesus Christ is, of course, the one real "light of the world" (John 8:12), but we are expected by Him to so reflect that light to a dark world that we also can be, in effect, "the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14).

Therefore, Jesus said: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). We are thus expected to "shine as lights in the world," but never with the purpose of honoring ourselves, but only in order to lighten the way to Christ, and thereby to glorify our heavenly Father. We are children of the Father by faith in Christ, and He expects us to act as those who are, indeed, "the children of light" (John 12:36). HMM

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