Sunday, October 22, 2017

Feast of Tabernacles 2017- Pokagon State Park

Another year of celebrating with friends the wonderful feast of tabernacles or sukkot.  Sukkot in hebrew means "booths", which describes the aspect of this feast of dwelling in temporary tents for all seven days of the festival.  Leviticus 23:33-36 and Deuteronomy 16:13 talk about the feast and what it entails.  Further into Leviticus 23 it speaks of the offerings that were required during the feast.  There are always lessons learned or challenges faced during Sukkot that help us grow as individuals or as a group.  This year I really felt some heart tugs in regards to how I serve my fellow brothers and sisters and those surrounding me.  Not how I do the act of serving but how my attitude is when I do it.  What am I offering.  During this feast they were to bring extra offerings in addition to their normal offering.  What was I bringing in addition to what I was already offering?  

Deuteronomy 16:14 "Be joyful at your festival- you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns."  God wasn't simply directing this to jews only.  He even included the widows in their town to be celebrating this.  This is why we keep this feast and celebrate it.  Besides, in Zechariah 14 it talks prophetically about this feast happening again.  Some how our brains can't wrap around the idea that it happened in bible times, He will have it happen later on according to the prophetic writing in Zechariah, but we shouldn't be doing it now?  It just doesn't make sense to us, so we observe this feast and practice the joyful celebration of our King coming (this just might be the actual time of Jesus' birth too if you look into it a little) to dwell with us as we camp out in temporary dwelling places.  After all, isn't this earth our temporary home?  I sure don't plan on being here forever.  Waiting for that day when HE comes back for us to tabernacle with us for eternity.  

Every year it looks a little different for us as far as where we are and who we are camping with.  Every year is a blessing no matter who we're with because it's the joy and the remembrance of Him being with us and rejoicing in the blessings that He pours out on us.    Here are pictures from this year's celebration.  We camped with 5 families, but we had so many other families trickle in to visit, study, eat, play, sing, and enjoy each other's fellowship.  If any of our readers are interested in this feast and keeping it with us, let us know.  We'll keep you posted in the coming year.  

You can watch Alegra's vlog here of our week or continue to scroll through my view of the pics she took.  :)   
We all love some good hikes during the week.

This is one of our family's offering.  We bring harvest from our garden and cook up a big pan of deliciousness that everybody helps prepare.  It's one of our favorite things during the week, working together from the bounty of our harvest and feasting together on it.

The children played lots of games all week.

We visited another group up in Marshall, MI who also observe this feast.  A meal of chicken and veggies over the fire and peach cobbler and ice cream were quite satisfying along with the singing and Scripture story.  It's always a treat to visit the Twelve Tribes community and partake in fellowship together.

The first and last day of the feast are to be high holy days or a special Sabbath.  On the regular Sabbath, the families enjoyed doing their own thing, children played, and we had a long time friend and teacher from Valpo come share a teaching he has done in the past called Moshiach (Messiah) in the Feasts.

We took the children halfway through the teaching to make graham cracker sukkahs.  It's always a fun activity for the children.

A group of us went horseback riding at the park.  It was a gorgeous morning to ride and stroll the trails on horse back.

We loved having friends come hang with us.  
The Danberry and Ferris families came to enjoy a hike and visit.

Lots of 4 square happened.

Alegra had fun doing a photo shoot with her friends.

There was plenty of love to go around with all the little ones to keep track of and care for. 

We had some random people end up in our camp for some medical needs.  We hoped that we were the servants Yahweh needed us to be for them.  We had various health issues within camp- poison ivy, blisters from walnut juices, bee stings that kept us all caring for one another and each other's children.  Those things bring us together.  We had meals together.  We played together.  We sang together.  And we sat around enjoying each other's company, encouragement, and gifts that they could offer during the week. 

We each had offerings that were brought to the table that weren't planned ahead.  The paramedic in the group was of great help to our group and others in the campground.  Different ladies had ointments and oils that came in handy for children and dogs who were in need.  Ladies who opened their arms to hold little ones so mamas could shower or prepare food or put other little ones to bed.  Knowledge of RVs came in handy for those who needed help.  Bringing together the food we had prepared always made for more than enough food for us and others visiting.  Even the spilling of popcorn all over the ground resulted in a fun opportunity for the children to see how an accident can be used for the good and as a blessing as they put the kernels from the ground in a paper bowl to cook over the fire.  What delight they had as they watched the kernels pop all over the place. 

A week of joy.  A week of rejoicing.  It went too fast.  We didn't get everything in we wanted to.  But the love and celebrating was filling and hopefully glorifying to our Saviour.