Ever notice that when you put something written up to a mirror it looks like it is backwards? In the natural, we are born, we age, getting older and older until we finally die.

But in God’s Kingdom, it is the exact opposite. When we are born again, we enter God’s kingdom and as we progress we become more and more like children.

Matthew 18:2-4

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

In the natural, we celebrate at the beginning of things. We are all excited when something new begins to happen. But in God’s Kingdom, it is the exact opposite. The celebration comes at then end when we have finished the race, won the prize, given our all.

Philippians 3:13-15

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

The last of the Jewish feasts is the feast of Tabernacles. It begins on a Sunday and ends on a Sunday. They do no work on the first day of the festival or the last day of the festival. It is a week long celebration of God’s protection and guidance in the desert.

Leviticus 23:33-44

The Festival of Tabernacles

33 The Lord said to Moses, 34 “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35 The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36 For seven days present food offerings to the Lord, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the Lord. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work.

37 (“‘These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing food offerings to the Lord—the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. 38 These offerings are in addition to those for the Lord’s Sabbaths and[a] in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the Lord.)

39 “‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of Sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of Sabbath rest. 40 On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters 43 so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’”

44 So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed festivals of the Lord.

God encourages joy! God does not intend religion to be only meditation and introspection. He wants us to celebrate. Celebrate who God is, his promises, his protection, and what he has done for his people.

 

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