Celebrating Remembrances

These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall proclaim at the time appointed for them. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, is the Lord‘s Passover… When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord… You shall count seven full weeks from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord… In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation…

“Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation… On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the Feast [of Booths to] the Lord seven days… And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. It is a statute forever throughout your generations… that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 23:4-5,10-11,15-16,24,27,39-41,43

Israel’s feasts, instituted by God, were to establish a regular calendar of remembrance of God’s faithfulness and bounty to them, and to illustrate His redeeming work in the future: His deliverance from death and slavery, His setting them apart as His chosen, His gifts of fruitfulness and multiplication. They were never to forget Him, never to slide into thinking they had achieved their victories or produced wealth on their own. (Deuteronomy 8:14-18)

We gathered with friends last evening (via computer screen) to enjoy friendship and share remembrances of God’s divine work in our lives. Stories of providential relationships, angelic protection, and practical provisions all pointed to the glorious hand of our creative, all-knowing, compassionate Sovereign. We were lost and He found us, we were destitute and He provided, we were helpless and He intervened, we were bent on our own agenda and He interposed His. Ours was a joyful fellowship and celebration, in many cases, years later, of God’s steadfast love, guidance, and grace.

Regular celebrations of the Lord’s goodness dissolve pride in gratitude and transform boasting (or complaining) to praise. They give credit where credit is due, turning our eyes from my importances (or miseries) to the Almighty’s worthiness. He wants us to remember who and whose we are. Our celebrating Him brings Him the honor He is due.

Lord, keep me regularly, gratefully, and joyfully recounting Your goodness and offering You sacrifices of praise. May my perpetual celebration of You enjoin others to share in the feast of remembrances, and give thanks to You forever. (Psalm 30:12; 89:1; 100:4-5; Hebrews 13:15)

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