The New Moon was sighted from Israel on the evening of Sept 17, 2012, marking the beginning of the 7th month in Yehovah’s calendar AND the beginning of the Fall Feasts, starting with Yom Teruah, or Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets, as I shared, in “Potatoes and the Moon” has themes of both “Judgement is coming” (as 10 days later comes the day of Atonement) and “The Bridegroom Cometh”.
We celebrated on the closing eve of the 24 hr period of Yom Teruah, yesterday evening. We’d had torrential rain for much of those 24 hours, so, to plan a picnic, high up in a mountain subdivision, on an empty lot, could be considered, I suppose, rather presumptuous, but I was praying and believing for good weather. And, we had it! The sky had begun to clear, and the sun was actually visible for a while, as were the stars later. Just before we sat down to eat, a line of rain began moving toward us. More prayer, More believing, and some blowing of shofars in faith; and we sat down to eat, and watch as the clouds in front of us and to the north simply dissipated as they hit the ridge just in front of us, and the clouds to our south moved further south, all the while, dumping rain. We caught enough sprinkles to be absolutely grateful for His handiwork in keeping the rain away! The sun set, and we got glimpses of rose rimmed clouds as we talked over delicious food, around a lovely fire.
And then – my Dad was the first to see it, The New MOON!! HalleluYah! We had 15 minutes of sighting, before it slipped behind clouds. Out came the shofars, pitched closely enough to be truly harmonious, and the call rang out across the valleys and hills below our little fellowship, and echoed off the homes in the mountain subdivision.
Each year, as I enter this season of the Fall Feasts, I have a slightly different focus, perspective, line of thought. Three years ago, it was entering into the repentance of Atonement, two years ago, it was the tumbling house of cards of doctrines I was raised with, Last year it was the drawing of ragged painful, breaths and trying to find footing in my new circumstances.
This year… This year is vastly different.
The true Lover of our souls has been romancing and loving me so very well this entire year (just watch the video in the previous blog entry – every slide contains bits of His gifts and love from the last year)! Yes, there’s been a lot of pain, a lot of grieving, a lot of surrender, and frankly, a daily choice to obey – both His word in Scripture, and His voice within – which doesn’t come easy. I’ve had choices to make, boundaries to hold, communication to make crystal clear, a heart to surrender to the mending, and two boys to raise. It’s not been every day sunshine and roses… BUT, it has been every day full of His Spirit even in the midst of the hard, His Shalom which settled me in the midst of the angst.
So, it’s little wonder, that this season’s theme began for me, back at the beginning of the 6th month when I read an article about the 6th month, that of Elul, being about Love, Romance and the turning of Hearts toward one another. Next came the incredible testimony broadcast by Passion for Truth via livestream & YouTube, of Aaron and Tricia Leu (http://loveawakened.com/LOVE_AWAKENED/HOME.html) . As Aaron told about Tricia’s preparations in the days before her wedding, I heard YHVH say clearly, “As a Bride prepares for her Bridegroom” to me, as a directive.
I didn’t take that in a human sense of preparing for a human groom, tho I suppose if I’m prepared for my Heavenly Bridegroom, then I’d also be prepared for an earthly groom as well… But… No, the sense was following Him deeper into the purifying process that a Bride of His ancient culture went thru. Baths and Oils and Mother relationships and having one’s space and environment “in order”, lamps trimmed, oil on reserve, wedding gown of pure white linen prepared for the call of the Shofar announcing the coming of the groom.
I’ll be honest to say, I’m not even sure where to start, and so, like last year, when He directed me to “Let go”, I have to ask Him, “Show me how!” 😀 And, I know He will. I know, given the events of the last year and how He answered last year’s question – that 3 months from now, I’ll be able to look back and say, “Oh, Wow!! Look how He led me, “as the Bride prepares for her Bridegroom!” Step by Step, each building on the other, How incredible is He!” (Start with the blog entry roughly here, which was part of the first step, each weekend, building on the previous…, https://shakamboqer.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/time-to-dance/ and read forward till December’s posts to see the details of last year’s journey) For now I’m just surrendering to keep putting my feet, one in front of the other, as He leads.
So, last night, as the shofars sounded in celebration of the Feast of Trumpets,
as the harmonies lifted, the message for me personally, for this year, was;
“THE Bridegroom, Yeshua, Cometh!!”
Already, since the beginning of the 6th month, He’s poured out sooo many blessings, that have truly prepared and cleansed my heart. Not in the traditional sense that we think of – when we think of the cleansing that comes in the 40 days of Repentance leading up to the fast of the Day of Atonement… not in the rending of heart, sack cloth and ashes, 21 day cleanse type of cleansing… but in the gifts for my heart which have been gentle cleansing and soothing salve for the wounds still in the process of healing. Two weekends in a row on Mountain Balds, Two weeks on the beach, many dances, hikes, and most of all, beautiful conversations in person and by phone or chat, with so many dear friends, new and old, & family members, including those “Mother relationships” of the bride’s preparations ; all of which have been nothing but “Pure Gift.”
Tonight, as I was thinking about the gift of these friendships, I was reminded of the closing paragraphs of the Chapter titled “The Grand Affair” in John Eldredge’s original printing of the book, “Desire”, titled, Journey of Desire, where he writes,
“What is vital for us to grasp now, Willard says, is simply this, “The life we now have as the persons we now are will continue in the universe in which we now exist.” By all means we shall know each other’s name, not if, but when we see each other in God’s great kingdom. We’ll hold each other’s hands, and far better than that. The naked intimacy, the real knowing that we enjoy with God, we shall enjoy with each other. George MacDonald wrote, “I think we shall be able to pass into and through each other’s very souls as we please, knowing each other’s thoughts and being, along with our own, and so, being like God.” Brent used to call it multiple intimacy without promiscuity. It is what the ancients meant by the COMMUNION OF SAINTS. All the joy that awaits us in the sea of God’s love will be multiplied over and over as we share with each other in the Grand Affair.
John Donne captures this beautifully:
All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book,but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation; and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another.
Imagine the stories that we’ll hear. And all the questions that shall finally have answers. … And the answers won’t be one-word answers, but story after story, a feast of wonder and laughter and glad tears.
The setting for this will be a great party, the wedding feast of the Lamb. Now, you’ve got to get images of Baptist receptions entirely out of your mind – folks milling around in the church gym, holding Styrofoam cups of punch, wondering what to do with themselves. You’ve got to picture an Italian wedding, or better , a Jewish wedding. They roll up the rugs and push back the furniture. There is dancing: “Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men, and old as well” (Jer 31:13 NIV) There is feasting: “On this mountain Yehovah Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples” (Isa 25:6 NIV) (Can you imagine what kind of cook God must be? And there is drinking – the feast God says he is preparing includes, “a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines.” In fact, at his Last Supper our Bridegroom said he will not drink of “the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes” (Luke 22:18 NIV) Then, He’ll pop a cork.
And the people came together
and the people came to dance
and they danced like a wave upon the sea. (Yeats) “
Oh, what a day!!! If the fellowship we have here, now, is as beautiful as it is, how much more lovely will that day be?!
My prayer, this season is:
Yehovah, Prepare me, as the Bride for You, the Bridegroom.
I surrender to whatever You have for me in this season.
To the cleansing, the purifying, the refining, the surrender.
Show me how; give strength where it is needed,
humility also, wisdom, courage…
and the willingness to just rest
in the midst of milk baths and anointing oils and wedding dress creating.
In the midst of wound cleansing, healing salve applications.
To neither move ahead of you, nor run away in fear of my weaknesses.
But to surrender all of me, my hopes and dreams, my emotions and passions
my weaknesses and failures, my striving and planning
into Your faithfulness and Love.
Thru the gifts of others, You’ve given me the gift of permission to be Woman
Create me now, to be the the true Beauty that You ordained
Before the World began!
May I fully reflect the glory You have for me to Reflect!
Show me how best to work with, or just BE with You in the process of Becoming…
That process of Becoming the Beloved.
I dedicate my All to You, for I will follow you all the Days of my Life!
My Lover, and My King, My Redeemer and my Friend, My Creator and Protector
Yahshua, my Messiah
Hosea 2:16 “But now I am going to woo her —
I will bring her out to the desert
and I will speak to her heart.
17 I will give her her vineyards from there
and the Akhor Valley as a gateway to hope.
(side note: Achan was stoned in the Akhor Valley)
She will respond there as she did when young,
as she did when she came up from Egypt. (out of bondage & slavery)
18 “On that day,” says Yehovah
“you will call me Ishi [My Husband];
you will no longer call me Ba‘ali [My Master].
19 For I will remove the names
of the ba‘alim from her mouth;
they will never again be mentioned by name.
20 When that day comes, I will make
a covenant for them
with the wild animals, the birds in the air
and the creeping things of the earth.
I will break bow and sword,
sweep battle from the land,
and make them lie down securely.
21 I will betroth you to me forever;
yes, I will betroth you to me
in righteousness, in justice,
in grace and in compassion;
22 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness,
and you will know Yehovah.
23 When that day comes,
I will answer,” says Yehovah
“I will answer the sky,
and it will answer the earth;
24 the earth will answer the corn, wine and oil,
and they will answer Yizre‘el [God will sow].
25 I will sow her for me in the land.
I will have pity on Lo-Ruchamah [Unpitied];
I will say to Lo-‘Ammi [Not-My-People], ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
May the Season of Yehovah’s Fall Feasts be a full of Rich Blessings for you each, whether you are in the midst of the sackcloth and ashes of Repentance or the Milk Baths and Fragrant oils of the Bridal Preparations, or somewhere in between – for instance, in the midst of the Wilderness, needing Him to Tabernacle with you as you feel your way to the next step ahead in blind faith! Shalom, Shalom!!