Spending the Feast at Home



Circumstances cause some not to be able to attend the Feast of Tabernacles. Here are some tips if you are one of those people this year.

It happens every year, it seems. There are always a certain number of people in God’s Church who, for one reason or another, simply can’t make it to the Feast of Tabernacles, much as they would like to. Perhaps some have made financial mistakes, and simply don’t have enough second tithe saved up. Or they might have lost their job, or perhaps have been unemployed for an extended period, and don’t have enough second tithe for that reason. It might be that their health, or the health of a close relative, might make going to the Feast unwise or even impossible. An example of this would be expectant mothers whose expected delivery date falls very close to the Feast, during the Feast, or just after the Feast. Another possibility would be a family member in the last stages of a terminal illness, especially where a Church member may be that person’s primary or only caregiver. Or there may be other unexpected circumstances beyond one’s control.

Over the years, I’ve been in many of those situations. As a result, I know only too well how lonely, how frustrating, how discouraging it can be to miss going to the Feast. There are ways, however, to “turn lemons into lemonade,” as the old saying goes—in other words, to derive at least some of the spiritual benefit from the Feast of Tabernacles that God intends. Based on my own experience, here are a few tips on how to spend the Feast at home, if, for whatever reason, you can’t go in person:

1. Spend extra time in prayer and Bible study.

The primary reason God gives us His Feast, after all, is to help us to draw closer to Him. Extra time in prayer and Bible study, especially on the first day of the Feast, and the Eighth Day, are especially important. You should also take extra time to meditate on the purpose for God’s annual Holy Days.

2. Watch services on the Internet or listen to recorded sermons.

Modern technology has made it far easier to obtain the kind of spiritual instruction God wants to give us on His annual Holy Days. In many cases, you can watch live Feast services on the Internet . While of course this is not quite the same as being at the Feast in person, webcasts can still impart at least some of the joy God wants us to experience during the Feast. If this is not possible or feasible, then listening to recordings of past sermons , or watching past Feast videos , can still be an important source of instruction and encouragement.

3. Spend time with other home-bound Church members if you can.

This can be accomplished in many ways—a phone call, a personal visit, or, if your circumstances permit, perhaps you can get together with other Church members to watch Feast services on the Internet or at least listen to recorded Feast messages. If nothing else, sending a card or a short note to other Church members who are unable to attend the Feast can provide much-needed encouragement, both for them and for you.

4. Be a light to others around you.

This of course is something we should be doing throughout the year as Christians, but even more so during the Feast days. There are many ways of doing this, even if you have to stay at home during the Feast. A small “Feast gift” to your employers or coworkers—even something as simple as a loaf of home-made bread—may be more of a light than you realize. If you’re in a public place, such as a grocery store or a restaurant, make an extra effort to be kind, patient, friendly, and understanding. If you’re able to go out to eat at a restaurant where tipping is expected, a slightly larger tip than usual, along with a few kind words to those who serve you, can often be a powerful witness. Be sure, however, to ask God’s guidance and direction in any such instance. Even a quick silent prayer while waiting in line can make a big difference!

5. Strive to maintain a positive attitude.

Even though you may have to stay home during the Feast, the right mental attitude can make all the difference. By all means, ask God for help in this regard. Also, the previous steps I’ve outlined, if properly practiced, will of themselves help you to keep your spirits up as they should be during the Feast. Helping and serving others during the Feast can be especially beneficial. Listening to uplifting music can also be helpful. Even dressing up a little bit when you go out can help.

6. Determine now, and begin planning now, to attend the Feast next year if you can possibly do so!

To be sure, there may be extenuating circumstances that may limit you in this regard—age or health, for instance—but, aside from those, you should begin now to look ahead, and plan ahead, seeking counsel if necessary, toward attending next year’s Feast of Tabernacles. The Church festival office staff begins planning for the coming year’s Feast within days of the conclusion of the current year’s Feast, and, I submit, so should we! In many cases, proper advance planning for next year’s Feast will make actually getting to next year’s Feast that much easier. While it will be several months before next year’s festival sites will be announced, you can and should begin striving now to make sure that you can be at next year’s Feast. Seeking advice from your local Feast advisor early on is especially important, and doubly so if you already know of possible problems or limiting factors that you will need to contend with. By far the most important thing you can do, however, is to seek God’s help and guidance so that, if He sees fit, you can be at next year’s Feast of Tabernacles!

Having to stay home during the Feast of Tabernacles isn’t what God wants for us, and it certainly shouldn’t be what we want, but as the old saying goes, “It isn’t the end of the world.” You can still enjoy God’s Feast at home if you ask God for help and make the effort to do so!  


JennetteIson

JennetteIson's picture

I am financially unable to attend the Feast this year but I am going to start this month planning to go next year by saving as much as I possibly can each month. I have never attended the Feast before but as I have been reading and studying about what the Feast symbolize or really mean for the future of God's Kingdom; I want to participate and to become a part of God's plan. I also have other things that I must get done in order to be in obedience to God's Word. I would greatly appreciate communication with members of UCG.




Skip

Skip's picture

Hello JennetteIson,

My wife to be & I found out about the Feast of Tabernacles shortly before those in the local congregation left to keep God's Feast in 1971. Our local pastor told us to start saving 2nd tithe and we would be prepared to keep God's Feast the next year (1972.) We did that and this year will be our 42nd Feast. I recommend his advice!




JennetteIson

JennetteIson's picture

Hi Skip
I apologize for the time gap. I thank you for the advice and I am going to follow it. I really want to be a part of what God is doing with His people. I am excited and looking forward to attending the Feast of Tabernacles next year. I'll be praying for you and yours; and please pray for me mine.
Love in Christ
Jennette




JennetteIson

JennetteIson's picture

Hi Skip
I apologize for the time gap. I thank you for the advice and I am going to follow it. I really want to be a part of what God is doing with His people. I am excited and looking forward to attending the Feast of Tabernacles next year. I'll be praying for you and yours; and please pray for me mine.
Love in Christ
Jennette



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