Many of you know that my kids and I have been studying the Jewish holidays this year. We have already worked our way through the three spring feasts: Passover, First Fruits, and Shavuot. (You can read what we have learned so far in my “Jewish” category.) Three more occur in the fall: Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. These mysterious holidays still feel strange on my tongue, but I’m looking forward to researching and experiencing them when the calendar rolls us closer. But right now we are in the summer months in between – a very interesting place to be.
You see, these six holidays were given to the Jewish people by God himself so they might know him. They are a revelation of his personhood. But they also serve as sort of a road map for his great plan. God knows exactly what he’s going to do before he brings Time to a close, and he has laid out many clues in these feasts. The first three, the spring festivals, have been fulfilled. (Again, see former posts.) The last three, which will take place in the fall, have not yet come to pass. So figuratively, we are in the long, hot summer before the harvest.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” (Matt. 24:32-33, NIV)
Are we ready for that harvest? Are we watching for the signs? I know I’m eager to gain a better understanding of it, and I’ll share my findings as the last three holidays grow nearer.