Chanukah, also celebrated as the Festival of Lights, recounts the miraculous story of when the second Temple was fought for and won back by the Maccabees. With only enough oil to last a single night, the Temple’s Menorah stayed lit for an entire eight nights! Although there are many miraculous victories for the Jewish people to be celebrated during this holiday, we illuminate the story of the Shamash candle – the servant leader on the Chanukah Menorah – Yeshua Messiah, the Light of the World!
For my family, that’s what the Festival of Lights reminds us – to let the Gospel shine brightly in our homes, in the lives of our families, and throughout all the world! Praise Yeshua!
Building Family Memories Together
This holiday season, let me encourage you to set aside all the struggles the year has tried to set upon you and find new ways to build family memories together.
Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a photograph together.
Here’s an example of what I did for my family last Chanukah. They are still some of my favorite photos!
God created humanity with a sacred space inside us – a place for us to become a walking, proclaiming, and shining example of His infinite Light! With our family fully doubled this year, I am so very very grateful for the wonderful man that gave me my beautiful children.
Together, we hope to stand as a living testimony to the light of Messiah that fills our hearts. Each family of lights is a Hanukkah of God’s very own – today I honor my beloved Mark Greenberg.
The first Hannukah present I ever bought was a lamp for our first baby girl. That first night there was just two of us – He and Mandie were my two lights and I was the lamp stand holding them in my loving arms – or so I thought.
But let me tell you what I know now.
I was his witness and he was mine – together we built a family with God’s help. Yeshua is the Light and my Father in Heaven opened my heart to Him more and more as I FOUND myself in Mark’s embrace. He always warms me with his kindness, exhorts me to believe God for miracles and melts my heart with his sparkling eyes.
Today, my children are all married and they are beginning their journeys unified in the glow of this season and full of the Spirit of God in their marriages.
What a blessed assurance from one generation to another that the God of Israel lives! Yes, Yeshua is alive forevermore!
Hanukkah is called the Festival of Lights, a time when we light our menorahs and thank God for sending the Light of the World. But this year’s Hanukkah is a little different. Last year, as we watched the lights grow with each night of the holiday, I had my baby boy growing inside me. Little did I know that my Levi would turn out to be the light of my life. So this year, when I watch the Hanukkah lights dance in his eyes for the very first time, I’ll take a moment and praise ADONAI for giving me such a shining example of His love for me! Last year’s Hanukkah was wonderful, but this year? With my new baby, my new sister-in-love, and another little niece on the way, this year is going to be even more special! – Mandie Greenberg Cook
“My sweet little flower girl. This photo was our second Chanukah together as a family of three. My newborn daughter spent her first Chanukah like a hot potato latke being lovingly passed around into each of our family members arms. By her second Chanukah, she was old enough for those bright blue eyes to be held captive by the dancing flames atop her menorah. My sweet Mother-in-love set up this beautiful display for all of us to enjoy as we watched the candles slowly burn. What will be different about this year’s family photo? I’ll be eight months pregnant with our second flower child. Mom and Dad’s hearts are very full. Year after year, these special moments shared together celebrating God’s one and only Son – Yeshua, the Light of the World – become cherished time keepers in our lives. That’s why taking photos are so important to me; for a split second, it’s as if the sand stood still in the glass. Those are the moments my heart wants to hold on to forever.” – Brittni Greenberg
Last year I was invited to join my then-boyfriend’s family, the Greenberg’s, in celebrating Hanukkah for the first time. The Jewish culture was all still very new to me at this time, but I was so excited that my love, Simeon, had brought me into his family and his walk with God! At first, I wondered why we didn’t skip the eight days and cut to the best part: seeing the Hanukkiahs fully lit up in dancing flames; oh and the latkes and homemade applesauce of course! But after taking time out of each evening to add another candle with his family, I began to see and appreciate the beauty of watching the lights, as well as our relationships with each other, grow brighter and warmer each night. It is much like how the light of Yeshua grows brighter and warmer in our hearts each day when we take the time to sit in awe of His light and His never-ending, ever-growing love for all of us. Last year, I was only an observer of the Festival of Lights and a receiver of Yeshua’s love, but this year, me and my newly wedded husband are hosting Shabbat in our new home where we will share the light and love that God gave us with our family, friends, and the rest of the world. God commanded us to be a light to the world and I see Hanukkah as another fun and beautiful way for us to do just that. – Hanah Greenberg