It’s Chanukah!!!! Aren’t you excited?! Yes I know it’s not something that most look forward to in America since only the 2% of the Jewish Community celebrates Chanukah, but for us it’s a big deal!
What’s the big deal about Chanukah? Chanukah reminds us that following G-d requires commitment and that sometimes that commitment can be very costly. To the Jewish people living in the 2nd Century before the birth of Messiah Yeshua, following G-d and His instructions was not only discouraged by the pagan king, it probably would cost you your life! There was no such thing as “easy believism”. Yet some Jewish people stood up for G-d and today we know these people as the Maccabim. Sadly, the knowledge of their efforts and bold commitment is mostly forgotten within the Jewish community, replaced with the typical American emphasis on materialism. Since it is the gift giving season, and it’s hard to fight the societal flow, I would encourage us to consider gifts we can give G-d this year.
First, give the gift of your Time. G-d would like to spend more time with you, and He would really like your full attention when you are with Him. We get so busy with the things of this world, which don’t really matter. Every moment we spend with G-d in worship, study or just quiet meditation is time well spent.
Second, give the gift of Service. G-d has things He wants done and He is looking for a few good men (and women) who will “help” Him get it done! What have you been doing lately for G-d? Anything specific? It seems too often the same few believers do the work, while other believers sit around and watch. We all have G-d given abilities and talents that G-d wants us to use, usually for the benefit of people in need, including believers needing help or a day off.
Third, give the gift of Faith. Start believing that G-d really is as big as He says that He is. Accept that He did create the world in six days, that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, and that Peter paid the Temple tax with money from a fish! Why do we minimize G-d’s capacity to do! G-d deserves our full faith so gift it to Him!
Forward for Messiah!
Rabbi & Director