A few conversations over this last week, as well as something my mom said recently is what is spurring this post…
I’ve learned that especially within Adventist circles, when someone becomes a “feast keeper” or a “sacred namer” they get put in a box of people’s experience, or assumptions or fears. Those boxes are placed in a larger box which says, “SDA offshoot” or “SDA dissenter”.
I think the biggest experience/assumption/fear would be that “feast keepers” become legalistic (and given SDA propensity for legalism, I could see how that would become a major issue). The next arguement would be that they often go so far off that they deny Jesus as the Christ or Yeshua as the Messiah. (And, that does happen, which is why we need to be able to argue from OT who/what Jesus is, and why Yeshua himself, on the road to Emmaus started with Moses in explaining his ministry)
The other side of it, is I’ve heard, “well, you need to follow your convictions”… And I won’t say that I’m not convicted about observing YHVH’s appointments (mo’ed) on His Calendar as being the right thing for me to do, cause I am.
However, There is another side to this arguement.
I’m attending a SDA campmeeting held at a summer camp/church retreat in WV. Last night, the youth and camp staff gathered outside the cafeteria, with a cake and a pinata, and a blindfold, to wish one of the Camp Staff Members happy birthday. They played a practical joke on him and doused him with water as he took his first swing at the pinata. Everyone had a good time, enjoyed the party and celebrated their friend who was a year older…
In just a few weeks, families around the US will gather at the lake, or pool, with the grill fired up, to spend time with family, and end the day with a huge display of fireworks to celebrate their National Independence.
In December, families will gather to eat a big meal, fellowship and open gifts. They may sing some songs, and go carroling, or they may catch a parade on TV.
My question would be – those kids with the pinata – were they being legalistic in getting their hispanic friend a pinata for his birthday? Where they deeply convicted that they needed to celebrate his birthday? Did anyone look at this group of partiers and feel uncomfortable or frightened by their behavior??
What about the Independance day Celebration, or the Christmas gathering. When you join your family for either of those events, will you be doing so “legalistically”? Will you be doing it out of a deep conviction???
Is it just really nice to celebrate a friend’s birthday, to spend time with them and make them feel special.
Is it fun to have a picnic, and inspiring to “think about the men who died and gave their life for me” and say, “God Bless the USA”
Is it spiritually a blessing to remember we have a Savior who came as a babe in a manger, on a Silent Night?
Is it a joy to see your family’s faces as they open their gifts, knowing that you love them?
My question is – So then why does it have to be any different for the Feasts of YHVH, those special days, that HE called special, He called His appointments with us, and then, as He laid out what was to happen, the details look like a great big party – full of family, friends, celebration, inspiration, spiritual blessing, joy & love?
I hope, if nothing else, as I write and as I share about the Feasts, that I can effectively communicate just how much of a blessing they are to me – on so many levels! That they are no more “legalistic” for me than celebrating my son’s birthday or going to the fireworks show… That They are full of all I mentioned above, and more! They aren’t just another list of rules that we have to get “just right” in order to be saved. They are holidays, just like birthdays, Independence day and Christmas. They are designed to be full of life, love, fun, fellowship, hanging out, etc.
Yes, I observe them based on my convictions. BUT I also observe them because humans are created to enjoy life and to love a good party. My chosen holidays happen to come straight out of Scripture, BUT that doesn’t make me inherently “legalistic”. I sure do enjoy a good party tho! 😀
And, tonight the boys and I had a party. The new moon was expected. I had popcorn, apples and fruit roll-ups, my shofars, and some music. As I told Aiden what we were getting ready to do, he asked if he could invite his friends, so a gaggle of children came tromping up the steps and when they reached the top, followed Aiden’s instructions to look for the new moon, which they each saw. They then took turns trying their lips on the shofar.
Psalm 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
They spent the rest of the time running around, playing chase, munching on food, and generally happily excited for the excuse for a party. 😀 Their parents also tried the shofars, and we talked a bit, and then we all headed for bed.
It was a good night. It was a lot of fun for the children, and the parents seemed genuinely appreciative.
And, you know, the cool thing is, in that joy and eating and fellowship and tooting of horns and laughter of rambunctious children, we were rehearsing eternity. Did you know we can do that – Have a dress rehearsal for eternity?! Look what we will do in the earth made new! 😀
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.
And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. Isa 66:22,23