Inside Israel – Lights!

Hi and welcome to a look inside Israel.  “J” of Jerusalem shares with us in that wonderful way of hers what it’s like living in the Holy Land of His birth at this time of year.  God bless you as you read and pray for  Israel and “J”.  Now here’s “J” . . .

LIGHT!  “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!” Yeshua stated.  What a humbling, fearsome, liberating declaration made by our Messiah…and how TRUE, as each of us likely remember the moment that His Light shown into our hearts and revealed His Lordship…His Kingdom!
 
This year Christmas and Chanukah fall at the same time: Chanukah beginning at sundown on the 20th of Dec and ending at sundown on the 28th.  Every year I am taken afresh by the symbolism of the miracle of the multiplication of the ‘Light’…and of the holy ‘Oil’ (anointing…Holy Spirit) and the entering into the world of The Light…Who came first to His own, and His own received Him not.  And yet even Chanukah speaks of ‘second chances’ and the ‘redemptive power of God’… as the temple was defiled, the eternal flame gone out, and the last keg of oil found…enough for only one night while 8 days were needed to prepare the oil.  So…just as GOD PROVIDED THE LAMB for Avraham so that he did not have to sacrifice Isaac, so God HIMSELF provided the oil…increasing it and making it sufficient to fulfill the commandment!  Where we come up short…and yet have a longing in our heart to serve Him, HE MAKES THE PROVISION!  HALLELUYAH!  LIGHT…TRUTH…THE LAMB!
 
Over the years I have made 17 inadequate attempts through these letters, to describe this season as we experience it here.  I guess I DO feel that it is unique.  It is not like it is in an Muslim country because, although the Christians are a small minority there and also are ‘celebrating in secret’, Muslims are not celebrating The Light at the same time…not even a ‘shadow’ or ‘form’ of The Light.  It is not like celebrating in a Buddhist or Hindu country, for there also they are not taking part in a parallel celebration.  There is a ‘dynamic’ that takes place here that I am at a loss to put adequate words to.
So…allow me to describe some snatches or snapshots from my view.
 
One VERY interesting phenomena (and wonderful opportunity) is that most sabras (native born Israelis) are FASCINATED by the idea of ‘Christmas’ and are so very curious about it that there are (I kid you NOT!) ‘Christmas eve tours’!  Now there is a very askew picture of ‘who a Christian is’ here.  First off (by general Jewish understanding): A Christian is a gentile…NEVER a Jew.  (that gets me into trouble on step one)  Secondly, the most visible ‘Christians’ here are Catholics, Russian orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Coptic and similar groups, mostly Arabs.  Then there are a great number of European ‘Christians’ working with ‘human rights organizations’ with Palestinians.  This is the ‘general’ picture that Israelis have of Christians.  Christmas is for these ‘other’ people.  It is ‘colored strings of lights’ and ‘Christmas trees’ and santa clause…and since we Jews ‘can’t’ have this…every one wants to ‘see it’ at least once…thus the Christmas eve ‘tours’.  Thousands of Israelis hop from one historical church service to another…the Church of the Holy Sepulcher…the Church of the Enunciation… Bethlehem (Beit Lechem).  Israeli believers have grasped this opportunity to share the gospel!  A number of fellowships have opened their doors on Christmas eve to preach a powerful and anointed salvation message.  Many years ago (I wrote about this at the time) my husband and I attended one of these services in the Old City and I, for one, was overwhelmed to see hundreds of TOURISTS entering during the service as if it were a museum; but many of them would then sit down to listen (and receive the scriptures in Hebrew).  I can NOT describe the ‘energy’ in the sanctuary…it was an almost tangible spiritual battle zone!  At one point, 3 young haradi (ultra orthodox) men (boys really) entered, and, obviously on a ‘dare’, one ran up front.  The power of The Lord so impacted him that he stumbled ALMOST to his knees, and with a look of fear – even terror – on his face, turned and ran out.  My pastor was speaking that night.  Much prayer went up for those young men and I trust that they will come to know Him.  These encounters are like nothing I was ever prepared for in my previous life where it seemed almost easy to speak to people face to face and share Him Who loves them and have their hearts open. 
 
It is with this mixture of dynamics that we enter this holiday season…the holidays of LIGHT…and we pray for LIGHT to be shed abroad and embraced and recognized and received.  This year both on Christmas eve and on Christmas night there will be two professional performances of Handel’s Messiah IN HEBREW!  Please pray for these to be presented with the power and anointing of His Spirit.  This piece, Handel’s Messiah, is very popular among Israelis.  In Hebrew they will understand well the message.  May it bare much fruit.  I remember that in Romans I believe, Paul said that he had become ‘all things to all men that by all means ‘he’ might win some’.  Amen!  Whatever Your way to bare fruit, Lord, may we be ready to submit to it!
 
And  meanwhile…we clean our 9 branched Chanukah’s, preparing them for the candles (or oil).  They will be lit each night, beginning with one candle on the first night and ending with 8 on the last night.  The ninth candle, the ‘shamas’ or ‘servant’, is lit every night and is used to light the other candles, just as He…who is greatest and yet Servant of all, lights each one of us with The miracle Light of Life. 
 
With MUCH more to share, I must close for bed.  Perhaps this will be the ‘first installment’ of the Celebration of Light?  May each one of you be blessed and may we be a blessing.  May this season be placed back into the Hands of The One meant to be remembered and may He use us to reflect Him to a world so perplexed and so needy.  God bless you, lovingly your sis.
ani b’derek

 

 

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Published in: on December 18, 2011 at 8:52 am  Comments (5)  
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5 Comments

  1. How utterly fascinating and timely is this peek at how God is using, yes, even the so-called secular Christmas trees and lights, etc., to spread His message!!!

    Jesus surely operates outside our man-made boxes.

    Dear Jesus, help me navigate this coming week that is already fraught with ugliness and meanness at the hands of so-called Christians. help me know what to do, help me keep my eyes only on You in all of this. Let me see You in each situation. Amen.

    I pray, then, also, for this season of Lights in Israel, and for the services upcoming of the Messiah. May these be blessed richly and powerfully, that many will truly grasp Him, and be touched by His Spirit and power in their lives that they may turn to Him and walk in His ways. In the name of Jesus, amen.

  2. ‘Morning, sis Deb! Actually, it’s afternoon at my house. Your blog today reminded me that I take for granted the privilege of worshiping Christ with considerable freedom, rather than being constrained to “celebrate in secret”. I have serious concern we may lose this right entirely, if we’re not diligent. I’ve noticed more and more–recently–that my Christian brothers and sisters have to be unduly cautious about sharing the Word, or prayer, in their workplaces. Frankly, I don’t understand it–what harm could there possibly be? What are the fears of non-believers, that they set these restrictions in place? Am I ignorant, or just “innocent”? (maybe both)

    Sister, I have a confession today: I wrote 2 new poems while attending church (on-line). But my excuse for inattention is that, I’d already heard the Texas pastor’s message at Saturday church (yesterday), and the Singapore pastor (Joseph Prince) repeats his message of Jesus’ “radical grace” with great frequency. So I figured I could write, as the Holy Spirit was inspiring me–all glory to God, right?

    Sending you bunches of love from this sister in the Pac NW–your very own Caddo Delight!

  3. Angel A . . .what a needed prayer! I am humbled and touched and praying alongside you. And forwarded you on to J. She will be so blessed by your prayer and comment. Thank you for taking the time to read this and comment and pray. You are such a special child of His. love you and God bless you and guide you through this week.

  4. Hey, sis Caddo Delight . . .I think there is much spiritual warfare going on and that is what is behind the restrictions on believers sharing His word and their faith.
    You got me smiling about your confession. 🙂 What a delight you are. I am blessed that He inspired you to write right as you were hearing a message. That’s pretty direct. 🙂
    God bless you and sending love back to you . . .and forwarding you on to “J” in Jerusalem too!

  5. Thank you! I feel much better now that you’ve said the “pretty direct” consolation–no more trivial guilt. And you’re right–there is much warfare going on; that explains why Christians aren’t allowed to turn hungry souls to the supreme Provider. But the odd thing, to me, is that believers aren’t even allowed to fellowship with other believers–openly–during their work hours. That’s just dumb! See you later, Sis–love Caddo


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