Feast Law


The Lord established feasts throughout the year for his people to celebrate God and his faithfulness to his people, and to dedicate themselves to the Lord.  Today, our celebration of God is based in our experience of his ongoing presence in the Holy Spirit…

14 “Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me. 15 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt. “No one is to appear before me empty-handed.”

16 “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. “Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.  17 “Three times a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord. 18 “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast.  “The fat of my festival offerings must not be kept until morning.  19 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.  Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
Exodus 23:14-19

We have the holidays of Christmas and Easter today, which are very clearly rooted in the birth and the death & resurrection of Jesus.  There is not law surrounding the celebration of Christian holidays in the same sense that Israel was instructed.  Most families and denominations have their own rituals and norms for celebrating.

As I reflect, I notice that the nuances and detailed stipulations of Israel’s law would have kept their heads focused on the process – it would be hard to water down the meaning with so much prescription in the detail.  That’s still what happened, though… The requirement to not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk reflects a practice of a neighbouring people.

The ways of those who do not follow God creep into the path and practice of the followers of God.  This can pull us away from God.  For Israel, God was trying to keep them pure as his holy people.  Practice and law was a core part of that plan.

We are God’s holy people in Jesus – Jew, Gentile, slave, free, man, woman – all can be part of God’s people through Jesus (John 1:12).  What makes us holy is Jesus.  Which means that we are at risk of our practice wavering because the law isn’t there.  It doesn’t guide us.  What does?  More like who…

The Spirit guides us.  Which requires us to listen.  And seek him.  And desire to please him. And to celebrate God through him…

How are you doing with celebrating God’s presence, saving grace, and provision in your life?  Is every day a feast?  Pursue the Spirit and celebrate the Lord…

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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