#FamilyFriday in a Sukkah

I was praying and thinking through what to write about this week. I came up with a few ideas, but then it was as if someone came up and just hit me in the forehead, with a big "Duh!" Sometimes teaching our kids to know God is hard and it takes a lot of work to figure out how to do that, but other times He literally spells it out in his word, and right now is one of those times. 

In Leviticus, we read about the Feasts of the Lord. As I'm writing, this we are in the middle of one of those very feasts - the Feast of Sukkot. Some Bibles translate it as the Feat of Tabernacles, or the Feast of Booths. There is a lot of this feast we aren't able to celebrate, simply because we don't live in Israel and there isn't a Temple standing. But praise the Lord, it's not all or nothing! There is still plenty we are able to do.  

You shall dwell in booths for seven days... 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.

That may not sound like the most fun, but it really is. It's like being able to make a grown-up fort (!), to decorate it  and then invite your friends and family to eat and enjoy each other's company! These Feasts are SO rich with things to teach your children:

1) To declare the wonderful things that the Lord has done. He tells us over and over again to do this. If we don't declare to the world what God has done, then how is the world supposed to know? And how are we supposed to trust Him to keep His promises in the future if we don't know what He has done in the past?

2) Life here is temporary. No matter what it is: Your job, your house, your car, it's all temporary. It's only a fragile little structure that we are passing our time within. On the Sabbath that falls during the Feast of Sukkot, it is customary to read through Ecclesiastes. If you've never read through that book, go do it. It gives you a whole new perspective on life. 

3) It's said to be one of the most joyous feasts! "You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns." (Deut 16:14) For our family, this year has been especially hard for us to keep this feast with joy. But yesterday I was convicted that joy is a choice that is not determined by outside circumstances. I determined at that moment that I wasn't going to allow our circumstances to keep us from being joyful through this season! 

4) This is a harvest festival, meaning that you celebrate after you've brought in your harvest for the season. If you've ever gardened, then you know that you can do all the work necessary to bring in that crop, but if God doesn't send the rain or sunshine, or keep the pests away, then there is no guarantee. We are all dependent on Him to provide for us just as He did for the Israelites with the manna. This is a great reminder that it isn't our efforts, but God's provision. 

There is plenty more I can keep going with, but that is the beauty of these feasts - there's always next year :) I'll share more then! 

May your feasting be joyful! 

Jonathan MitchellComment