Monday, 10 December 2007

Festival of Light

It was good to see the Hannukiah in front of the Brandenburger Tor.

I've never really considered the thought that when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, it must have been soon after Hannukah, the Feast of Dedication, which, as John says, took place in winter. It was only four months later that Passover occurs, when Jesus was put to death and raised from the dead. I think John makes a connection here. Jesus was pointing people to the fact that just as He raised Lazarus from the dead, as He was/is Himself the Resurrection and the Life, it would be impossible for death to hold Him.

When Jesus says to the disciples, (John 11 9-10)

"Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in daylight doesn't stumble because there's plenty of light from the sun. Walking at night, he might very well stumble because he can't see where he's going..."

He's telling them to put their trust in the Light; in Him, while He's still with them. Never mind what happens; whether Lazarus dies or not; do they trust Him? As a result of Lazarus emerging alive from the grave, many of the people believed in Him. Of course it wasn't long before some of the same crowds were baying for His blood.

What he says in ch.10 connects to chapter 11: 35-36 where He says,

"For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn't destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don't know where you're going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You'll be children of light."

(John 12:44-46)

"Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me. Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me. I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won't have to stay any longer in the dark.

Is He the Light in our lives, or are we settling for something less? The green socialist politicians talked last week about turning off the lights because of global warming. The darkness is already all around us, but those who are walking in the Light have no need to fear what those who are in darkness fear.

(1 John 1:5-7)

"This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there's not a trace of darkness in him.
If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we're obviously lying through our teeth—we're not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God's Son, purges all our sin."

He is the Light (John 1:9, 3:19, 8:12, 9:5) worth celebrating. May He speak to us through the Hannukah lights...

...and draw all men into the Son-Light.

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