Thursday, September 19, 2013

Feast of Tabernacles

Tell the people of Yisra’el, On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to Adonai. On the first day there is to be a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work. For seven days you are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai; on the eighth day you are to have a holy convocation and bring an offering made by fire to Adonai ; it is a day of public assembly; do not do any kind of ordinary work. These are the designated times of Adonai that you are to proclaim as holy convocations and bring an offering made by fire to Adonai — a burnt offering, a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, each on its own day — besides the Shabbats of Adonai, your gifts, all your vows and all your voluntary offerings that you give to Adonai. But on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered the produce of the land, you are to observe the festival of Adonai seven days; the first day is to be a complete rest and the eighth day is to be a complete rest. On the first day you are to take choice fruit, palm fronds, thick branches and river-willows, and celebrate in the presence of Adonai your God for seven days. You are to observe it as a feast to Adonai seven days in the year; it is a permanent regulation, generation after generation; keep it in the seventh month. You are to live in sukkot for seven days; every citizen of Yisra’el is to live in a sukkah, so that generation after generation of you will know that I made the people of Yisra’el live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am Adonai your God. Thus Moshe announced to the people of Yisra’el the designated times of Adonai.
Vayikra / Leviticus 23:34-44

…and on the first day you shall take the fruit of the hadar tree, palm fronds and branches of myrtle and willow trees.
Vayikra / Leviticus 24:40

The biblical feast of Tabernacles—Sukkot—began at sundown on September 18 this year, and lasts for seven days. As with all the feasts and special days ordained in the Bible, they are commemorations, designed to keep the people of God awake to the Presence of the Living God, and alive in Him. Such also are the feast days of the Church. But all of these are, “a shadow of the things to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (Colossians 2:17)

The Hebrews welcome the Seven Ushpizin, the Seven Shepherds of Yisra’el, from Abraham to David, one on each night of the feast. May they and we welcome the Eighth Shepherd, the One whom the honorable Prophet and Forerunner John called “the One who stands in your midst, whom you do not know,” into our sukkah, not only during the feast, but always.

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