Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah (or both!) today, I have a special thought for you!
Though Hanukkah and Christmas share some characteristics (joyous times, celebratory lights, gift-giving, etc), they really are non-related, and only seldom do they overlap.
However, as Christians, we can see Jesus in each celebration. We honor His birth at Christmas, and Jesus Himself made Messianic proclamations when He and His family were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Lights (aka Hanukkah or the Feast of Dedication). See John 10:22-30.
But, flip back a couple chapters to John 8:12, and what do your find? Jesus proclaiming Himself to be the light of the world! Yes, that proclamation was likely made during the Feast of Tabernacles, but be assured, His followers would almost certainly have remembered that proclamation when the Festival of Light rolled around!
As Christians, we recognize that fact: Jesus is the Light of the World.
But, consider the symbolism. Each candle of the Hanukkah menorah represents each of the eight days in which the Lord miraculously supplied olive oil to keep the menorah burning. The ninth candle is the “servant candle,” used to light the other eight. The servant candle is traditionally found in the middle of the 9-armed Hanukkah menorah, sits higher than the rest, and is used to light the other eight.
Now, consider the irony as Hanukkah and Christmas overlap. Though not exactly in the center, Christmas Day certainly falls in the midst of Hanukkah. Could it be that this year we celebrate the overlapping two to be reminded the Light of the World was born to serve, and desires to live within us? Might He want us to clearly see He is the Servant Candle that gives light to all! He is our Hanukkah menorah…Jesus Christ, Light of the World!
PS: Find deeper meaning here: Festival of Lights