2nd Sunday of Advent
& 8th Night of Hanukkah

Picture courtesy of pinterest

The theme of the second Sunday of Advent is dedicated to love. Love permeates every aspect of the Christmas story:

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

Again I am reminded that us celebrating Hanukkah and Advent go hand in hand, advent preparing us for Christmas and Hanukkah being the actual time Jesus "the light of the world" was conceived. He came because God loves us, Advent today is focused on that love. At Christmas time, goodwill toward men, love, joy and peace are talked about and practised. People make the extra effort to love others. The challenge is to continue feeling and showing that love when Christmas is over so that it fills the entire year. After relighting the previous week’s candle, we then light a second purple candle representative of Love! It is not just a nice warm tingly emotion it is a commandment - Jesus ordered us to "Love one another" all year round. Maybe tonight with lighting the advent candle to Love, and the Hanukkah candles of dedication, we can re-dedicate ourselves to making more of an effort to "love one another" in our families and the body of Christ, then let that trickle down to even loving those unsaved, grumpy and suffering souls.

Hanukkah – The Jewish Festival of Lights.

Girl lighting the candles

Picture courtesy of Phillip Martin Clipart

This is the 8th and last Night of Hanukkah the Jewish Festival of Lights. Recite the two Blessings and light all nine candles tonight. I want to share a word from author Yanki Tauber based on the teachings of the Rebbe (a famous Jewish Rabbi).

We are encouraged by the fact that a tiny flame can banish a roomful of darkness. If so, all is not lost. If our own souls are "candles of G‑d" (as King Solomon proclaims in the Book of Proverbs), then little me is not so little after all. The big bad world out there can yet be transformed. All we need to do is be what we truly are, to act out our innate goodness, and the darkness will melt away.
Once a year, we celebrate this truth. For eight days and nights, we celebrate the power of light: in ascending number — one little flame on the first evening, two flames on the second, three on the third — we kindle the Chanukah menorah, recalling that miraculous victory, 22 centuries ago, of quality over quantity, spirit over materialism, right over might. And pray for the day when such victories are no longer "miracles", but the way things are in G_d's world.

Tonight when you light the candles give thanks and praise to God for all his miracles.