Becoming familiar with the Jewish roots of my Christian faith has added profound appreciation the grace of God. Am I converting to Judaism? Not at all. It simply means that I, a ‘wild olive shoot’ engrafted into the ‘root of Jesse’ (Jesus is that root), allow the ‘richness of the root and sap of the olive tree’ to saturate me.(Romans 11:11 AMP)
The ‘Feast of Tabernacles’ celebration begins this evening at 6 p.m. Each family constructs a sukkah (makeshift shelter) in which to enjoy meals, fellowship and prayer. This break from usual routine which becomes so readily commonplace, reminds us of a special place of refuge in the midst of swirling chaos or mundane routine around us. It is a prophetic act to remind us of simple, true values of life–family, friends, communion with the Almighty.
King David knew this special place of refuge. ‘The Eternal is my light amidst darkness, my rescue in times of trouble. In the stress of my day, He hides me in His sukkah; in the secret place of His Presence; He surrounds me with a fortress of protection.’ (Psalm 27 paraphrased)
Jesus connects the Old Testament practice with present reality. He teaches us that WE are the sukkah and HE is our Friend come to share the festive meal with us. Furthermore, Jesus told His followers that after taking His place in Heaven with the Father, His Spirit would take up His abode in our spirit. Our communion with the Almighty is now without constraint of time or space–wherever we go, His Presence surrounds us like a fortress of protection and strength.
The Feast of Tabernacles reminds us of this absolutely amazing reality–the Presence of the Almighty is a sukkah around us, His Spirit is a welcome Friend within us!
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