Feast of Dedication: Hanukkah/Chanukah
The Feast of Dedication [Chanukah; the Festival of Lights] to GOD and to His Temple must be honored by the Church of God (COG), just as Christ did [John 10:22-28]: [G] our dedication to God our Father, [O] our dedication to Others, through the body of Christ, [D] our dedication to the destruction of the works of the Devil [his systemic], by growing in grace and knowledge through God's Holy Spirit !! -- the continued use of the world's systemic by the COG is a validation of that which is and the inability to commit to that which ought to be, and we affirm a different vision of strength - God's strength [the application of His word] is dependent on our ability to create a world of love and caring, a world of peace and justice, a world in which every human being is treated as an embodiment of the Spirit of God [the community of God]; ** the works that we do in our Father's name, bear *witness* of us **.
Chislev 25 Festival of Lights or Dedication - beginning of the Jewish eight-day celebration in memory of the dedication of the altar in 164 B.C. after it had been defiled by Antiochus IV on the same date in 167 B.C. (Dan. 11:31; see also John 10:22).
Lexicon G1456 egkainia; AV - feast of dedication 1) dedication, consecration; in particular the annual feast celebrated eight days beginning in the 25th of Chislev, instituted by Judas Maccabaeus [B.C. 164] in memory of the cleansing of the temple from the pollution of Antiochus Epiphanes.
Chislev XXV The Feast of Dedication, viz. of the temple, profaned by the order of Antiochus Epiphanes, and repaired and purified by the care of Judas Maccabeus ["the hammer" or Maccabee]. This festival Christ honored with his presence at Jerusalem. It is likewise called the Feast of Lights because, during the time of its celebration, the people used to illuminate their houses, by setting up candles at every one's door; I Mac. iv. 52., II Mac. ii. 16., John x. 22.
John 10:22. And it was at Jerusalem the ** feast of the dedication **, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: *the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me*. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand. 30 I and [my] Father are one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ** Ye are gods? ** 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, ** believe the works **: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father [is] in me, and I in him.
The spiritual message of who, and what we are, our responsibilities [John 10:34; the Family of God, our self-awareness], and of the "spiritual warfare" that we are engaged in [one definition (occurrence) of evil is our lack of awareness, the absence of *ourselves* (we are a part of God, and our absence is an absence of God's presence) both within and without the COG] - the COG is rededicated by keeping the Feast of Dedication on Chislev 25 for eight days [one day's oil burned for eight days symbolizing the miracle of the Holy Spirit; circumcision (physical) on the eight day (spiritually of the heart); Mary impregnated by the Holy Spirit most likely at this time, Christ was "conceived" at the time of the winter solstice when the night and darkness are longest; the "light" of the world] - a candle is lit each evening [using a Menorah], with each day of celebration focused on a different aspect of God's community [our "agape" relationship with God and with each other] - Chanukah celebrates the world's first recorded national liberation struggle; a message to the COG that we must not worship at the altar of this world's economic, political and cultural "reality," that we must overthrow all bondage [secular as-well-as religious], that we must rededicate God's Temple [which is *each-and-every one of us*] to God !! [preceding paragraphs outlined on Tikkun Magazine, Nov/Dec.2000]
The *will* to define our existence must be *God's Will* !! - we are *all* inspired and backed by God [the common fellowship] - we are to give of our gifts, to make a contribution, to the body of Christ, including the body of knowledge and wisdom [the application of that knowledge; the power of God] - we must promote the advancement of knowledge and dialogue, honestly seeking understanding of any resultant conflicts, we must build on the foundation, the existing truths [the template], all-the-while realizing that knowledge without wisdom is like faith without works - we must utilize *all* that God gives us [faith, reason, revelation, etc.] and realize that blind rejection [without due recourse] is *not* protection of belief [we can easily be the source of each other's negation] - many different attitudes, approaches, methods and conclusions will be represented [we are the human face of God], a substantial exchange of views, all-the-while trusting God to bring the harmony !! -- this *community of mind*, a complete and authentic presence of individual, begotten human beings, one to another, inspiring each other with the courage to take the risk of being the source of each other's completion, in the full faith of Jesus Christ, reverencing the animating Spirit that dwells within and among us - that which links us is what *ennobles* us and we must be cognizant of this because *holocaust*, the horror of our monstrous *failure of connection* in the COG, will be the tragic result if we don't !!
Our fellowship must have the *possession of God's mind*, must be fully prepared to show by words or teaching, to do justice to, to protect and defend, the truth of God, and must be ready to refute and to destroy [to cast out and to cast down], *all* decisions, reasoning's and judgments, that are opposed to, or against, the knowledge of God [and the application of that knowledge (worship and power and wisdom); the spiritual gifts], including the underlying consciousness and systemic structures [the "high things", the "higher powers" of hierarchy both secular and religious]; THOSE SELF-EXALTED AGAINST GOD utilizing the suppression of spontaneity, the enacting of roles, the pervasive imposition of "acceptable" behavior, the ensuing artificiality and stress, and, finally, the collective experience that simultaneously divides a group of people by an infinite distance and unites them in the false communion of being-other-than-themselves together !!
The *perfected and gifted fellowship* must *STILL* the enemy within and without the COG, and the avenger [the curse, the Tribulation holocaust] by the *power of God*, the strength ordained !! -- there is simply no depth of evil to which a church/society cannot sink once it abandons love as its governing principle, and the test of love's authenticity is that in its presence nobody gets harmed !! - therefore the "imaginary and false community" that purports to satisfy our need for connectedness and recognition always reveals its duplicity by having to generate an *unworthy class of non-members* to outwardly personify the "haunting inner demon" of personal alienation - true "agape love" realizes itself through the *affirmation of the other*; we are, to varying degrees and in the aggregate, *blind*, and in our blindness we injure ourselves and our world; we become *lame* - we must examine with righteous perseverance the symptoms and causes of alienation wherever they manifest themselves; we must be *healed* !! [preceding paragraphs outlined on Tikkun, Jan/Feb.2001, pp.66-67]