This is the first year we have celebrated the Feasts of the Lord as a family. For several years now we have been learning about our Hebrew roots and the beauty of the Lord’s covenant love for His people. But honestly, in the beginning I was just overwhelmed by the idea of actually celebrating another holiday. With six birthdays and all the usual holidays it was hard to wrap my brain around another thing on the calendar. But this year as the Lord has taught us and led us through His word and now we can’t help but celebrate!
In describing the feasts to me a few years ago a dear friend said, “It’s not a have to, it’s a get to!” And she was right. We don’t celebrate under compulsion because we have to, and in the same way we don’t give our offerings to the needy under compulsion either. Rather, we do these things because we love our Savior and we get to! It is OUR JOY to spend these feasts with Him in His presence. We learn so much more about Him when our bodies participate in the physical expression of our spiritual reality. He designed it that way. When we enter into these times He has set aside for us (moedims) and put our energy and creativity behind it, our hearts become imprinted with His word. Even more so it makes His kingdom come alive to our children. That is why He tells us in Leviticus 23:41 that His feasts are to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. It is part of His design to build His eternal kingdom of believers through the family unit throughout all the generations.
Not only are the feasts a beautiful way to learn more about the character and covenant love of our God, they also teach us about our biblical history and heritage, as well as speak to the prophetic future! There is A LOT wrapped up in these gifts to us, which is why it is our Joy to unwrap them each year. They are not times given only to people of a certain religion, in fact God has never been a fan of religion. You can see that clearly when He taught against the man-made religious practices of the Pharisees. From walking in the garden to walking out of the tomb He has been about intimacy with His people. And these times set aside by God Himself are a chance for us to partake in that relationship with Him for our edification and for His glory!
Now, I am going to be honest and share that this journey has not been easy! There is a lot involved in doing something new, especially for someone who loves routine. There have been moments of stress and frustration as well as that feeling of “just wanting to go back to what is normal”. And that is all part of it. In fact, almost every story in the bible is about someone being called to do something unfamiliar, new, overwhelming, and beyond what they felt comfortable doing. God’s plans usually include all of those things because He is a God of discipleship. He is always stretching and growing His people into greater maturity so that we can be more effective leaders in His kingdom and because He loves us and knows so much better than us, what we need before we ever utter a word.
I will leave you with the pictures of our sukkah for this years Feast of Tabernacles Celebration. I know that our set up is not traditional and doesn’t follow all of the rules for a typical sukkah, especially since it is INSIDE! But it has been raining for days and with 4 youngens and a husband with a torn tendon in his leg, it had to be something I could manage on my own with the kids help. I will never forget the first passover that we ever “celebrated”, It was in our p.j.s with 3 out of 4 sick kids eating a heated up pizza. It’s not so much about the how’s, but more about the why’s. It is us, setting aside the time to be with our Creator. Coming to His feet to learn, to rejoice, and to lead our children into experiencing His presence. And since the days of pizza and sick kids we have actually come a long way! If you haven’t ever celebrated His Feasts I encourage you to pray and seek His will in that for your family. His word is so much deeper and richer than we realize, it really is a gift just waiting to be unwrapped each day, each season, each year!
Our “tent” is made of burlap to resemble the rough hewn fabrics that the Israelites may have used to set up there own tents in the wilderness. It has four corners for the 4 corners of the earth that He will gather His people from according to Isaiah 11:12 and Mark 13:27. The lights are for the stars in the sky that represent all the descendants of Abraham in which we are counted! Genesis 26:4
Part of John 1:14 on the chalkboard to tie in the Tabernacle reference. I use this in our schooling as well so we not only celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot in Hebrew) but we also are studying the actual tabernacle and temple as well. Sukkot is also known as the last great fall Feast or the Feast of ingathering. It was a celebration of the gathering in of the crops in Israel. So we did pumpkins and fall fruit for the ingathering portion.
Our centerpiece is an object lesson for the week. The 3 great candles are representative of Adonai, Yeshua, and the Ruach HaKodesh (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). And the little candle is our families light unto the world. The 2 crowns are the 2 comings of the Messiah as He has and will once again tabernacle with us. The crown of thorns is for Jesus who came as our suffering servant in His first coming. Then the King’s crown for His second coming when He comes as the Lion of Judah and King of Kings to rule and reign- Hallelujah and Glory to the King!