Tuesday, December 19, 2006

On The Menorah

Rumors of my demise are highly exaggerated (disappointingly so, for some,) and also started by me.
I would tell you that I was fasting from blogging for a few days, but that seems to violate Jesus' instructions about fasting not being a public display for everyone to look at you and congratulate you for your great spirituality. So I won't tell you that. Additionally, it isn't true, so...
Truthfully, I just let my priorities get out of whack, letting things like church activities and ministry opportunities (but mostly Christms shopping) replace what was really important--regular updates to this blog!

Okay. Now about the menorah. The menorah is that lampstand with the 7 lamps in the tabernacle/temple, and it also refers to the one with 8 lamps that you see around Hanukkah. The 8 lights represent, as the previous post "Happy 5th Night of Chanukkah" states, the 8 nights that the container of oil lasted. These 8 nights also provided the time required to make more consecrated oil to light the menorah. And so, the 8 lights are a witness that--as the dreidel alludes--"Nes Gadol Hayah Sham," "A Great Miracle Happened There."
Astute observers of holiday menorahs will note that there are often not eight candles, but nine! The ninth candle, usually elevated above the others is called the Shammos, or Servant candle. As the name implies, the Shammos is lit first and used to light the other candles kindled that night.
Messianic Jews look at this interesting phenomenon, and see in it a picture of Jesus. Jesus is the Servant of the Lord (as in Isaiah) who came "to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."(Mat 20:28) Additionally, he is the light of the world (Jn 8:12,) and "The true light which gives life to every man." (Jn 1:9) And just as it is from the Shammos that the other candles receive their light, it is from Jesus that we receive the light of our witness!

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