The Fall Festival Season — Bah Humbug!
Normally I struggle with the Festivals. I just botch them every year. I forget they’re coming. I don’t take the days off from work that are required. (Why can’t they all fall on the weekends!?) Plus, since we go by the sighting of the moon and don’t follow the Jewish calendar, we’re off from all of normative Judaism and a lot of the Messianics as well. Then I get to thinking how much better it would be to live in Israel. But would it? Therefore, I find myself with an ever growing desire for the return of Yeshua. Then everything will be as it should. Can’t wait.
I’ve made a decision concerning the Holidays. I’ve decided to seek out the positives (what we can do) rather than be overwhelmed by the negatives (what we can’t do). My glass doesn’t always have to be half empty. Why not consider it half full? Do I always have to be a Messianic version of Ebenezer Scrooge? Rather than emphasizing the fact I’m not in the Land doing fully as I should, I’m going to rejoice right here and enjoy it all — in spite of myself! Take that HaSatan.
Before coming into the Hebraic mindset, my thinking sort of went like this. Perhaps yours did too. — Those Festivals are a “Jewish” thing. Besides, we’re New Testament, right? Didn’t Jesus come and fulfill all the types and Festivals? We don’t need to worry about that stuff anymore. We’re not under the Law. We’re free to live … Lawless! (??) —
Now that I’m endeavoring to living Hebraically, I find I’m pretty hard on myself. Actually, too hard perhaps. I tend to forget that there was a time when I didn’t even think or care about the Festivals at all. I think it’s time to cut myself some slack.
I grew up in an unchurched and unsaved environment. My parents and grandparents never, and I mean never, went to church. We did celebrate Christmas though. It just didn’t have anything to do with Jesus. For me, Christmas meant a new Elvis album. Thankfully, somehow, God in His grace sought me out and I responded by faith.
I was saved at age 19 in 1973. It was truly a miracle. I eventually married my wife, had the kids we now have and decided our family was going to be different. Our kids were going to have parents that ALWAYS went to church. And Christmas would be about Jesus — bless God! And that’s how it was.
We lived in the Christian community that had everything laid out so nicely for us. We didn’t even have to think about Christmas or Easter. It was all a natural part of who and what we were. It was as natural and normal as breathing. We enjoyed dreaming of a white Christmas. And because we were New Testament Christians, Easter was eagerly anticipated too. It all felt so good, so real, so personal, so alive.
We’re not there any longer. We’ve embarked upon learning a whole new walk and practice of life. I don’t dream of a white Christmas anymore. Easter is a distant memory. Praise God, things ARE different now.
Truthfully though, for my wife and me, we at times do miss the warm fuzzies of the Christian holidays. (Bing Crosby, I miss you.) It hasn’t been easy for us to sense a meaningful connection to our new Bible holidays. The transition has been somewhat of a slow process for us. Our heads are in the right spot, but our hearts are dragging ever so slightly. Added to that, our extended Christian family members still do enjoy Christmas and Easter. It can be somewhat awkward at times. We find ourselves stuck between two worlds.
When I step back and consider how far along we have come as a family, I’m truly awestruck. It’s as drastic a change (as I look at it all) as when I was translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. I don’t even recognize us anymore. We’re not what we were.
It’s never easy to transition from anything. For the “older folks” it’s even more difficult. We’re making it though. The past is growing dimmer as the new becomes more radiant. And I never, for one minute, take for granted that my wife is totally onboard with everything Messianic. Where would I be without her?
What’s really exciting for us is that our grandkids are growing up in all of this. For them it IS as natural as breathing. Their mindset is, and always has been, Hebraic. This third generation not only has their heads in the right spot but their hearts as well.
So while Mom and Dad (to our kids), Gampa and Nana (to our grandkids) are falling a little behind, what a comfort and joy it is for us to know that our own flesh and blood continue forward in this new way of life.
As we move forward in our Hebraic journey, I rejoice that there is one Festival I don’t totally botch. Passover. I love Passover. For whatever reason, I’ve always “felt” connected to it. It’s the one observance that is natural and normal for me. And thankfully, we did much better this year getting rid of the Leaven ahead of time. We didn’t waste nearly as much money throwing out stuff. Ahhh … progress.
Won’t it be glorious when everything is as it was meant to be in the first place? Mankind sure has mucked things up. But, Yeshua is coming again and will set it all right — forever.
My mind keeps coming to these verses. So, I’ll close with this.
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21)
He is coming again. Until then, He keeps on giving us His grace to help us along.
We truly are being conformed to His image. Even if at times I don’t see it, thankfully I know He does.
No more Bah Humbug for me.