Messages focused on the hope and comfort that the Holy Days represent, rejoicing even through suffering and how to prepare ourselves to be effective people that God can use, both now and in the future.
Activities included a teen pizza party, bowling on family day, sand volleyball, youth instruction classes, a tour of the home office in Milford and a painted rock hunt for kids. People also visited local attractions such as the Creation Museum, Ark Encounter and Newport Aquarium. Bible studies were held for adults, young adults and teens on Thursday night.
At services each day, masks did not muffle the joyful noise during hymns or cool the fervor of the brethren who came to joyfully worship the King (Zechariah 14:16 Zechariah 14:16And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
American King James Version×). In fact, it seemed nothing could dampen the Feast experience in Cincinnati! Due to local restrictions, we did not hold the annual seniors’ banquet. Instead, special gift baskets were put together and a ceremony planned to hand them out. Before the ceremony, shocking news arrived. After all Church members had left the hall for the day, someone had broken into the facility in which the gift baskets were being kept. Everything was gone. The news shook us, and reminded us that while we celebrated the coming millennial reign of Jesus, that time was not here yet. Satan was not yet bound, and sin still abounded in the world.
However, we didn’t allow this to dampen our spirits. We turned to God for help with this unfortunate event and something remarkable happened. In the way that only God can, a mighty miracle was performed through the generosity of the brethren. A donation box was placed on the information table and in less than a day more than $3,300 was raised. Festival coordinator Ryan Hall noted that God tells us to spend our second tithe on whatever our hearts desire (Deuteronomy 14:26 Deuteronomy 14:26And you shall bestow that money for whatever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household,
American King James Version×)—and the selfless desire in the hearts of the people in Cincinnati this year was evident. In true “loaves and fishes” style, we witnessed what God means by blessing us “exceedingly abundantly” (Ephesians 3:20 Ephesians 3:20Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
American King James Version×).
There were more gift baskets than seniors and special gifts were handed out to the oldest person, the person who had been baptized the longest and the person with the most generations in the Church.
This object lesson set an encouraging tone for the rest of the week as we rejoiced before God, fellowshipped together and looked forward to an even better future.