United Church of God

From the Home Office: Galaxies, the Moon and the Feast

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From the Home Office

Galaxies, the Moon and the Feast

Earlier this week NASA released amazing pictures of our universe taken from the new $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope.

The images reveal an incredibly beautiful universe with a myriad of galaxies. In case you haven’t seen them, here’s one of the first infrared photos that was released.

When you see something so spectacular, doesn’t it make you wonder how anyone could deny the existence of a loving, all powerful and supreme Creator God? Yet, I did not personally hear any commentator talk about God at all when these pictures were released and discussed.

That should not be the case for you and me, brethren. We live in a time when we have unprecedented and unimagined opportunities to get glimpses into the vastness and expanse of God’s creation, and the infinite universe around us—not to mention the perfection of this planet on which we have the privilege to live.

Let me ask a question. Do you see your future—the future God has called you to—when you see pictures like the one above?

Beyond today’s world, beyond the millennial reign of Christ, beyond the White Throne judgment, God has a plan for everything He creates.

And He has a plan for us. If we follow Him and surrender to Him, He will lead us by His Spirit to what He has in mind for us for eternity. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the wonders that God has prepared for those who love [Greek, agape] Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

If you were outside last night you saw another amazing, beautiful and significant work of God—a full moon. They say it was the brightest moon of the year.

Today (Thursday) is the 15th day of the fourth month of God’s calendar. Three months from today, when the sun sets, the Feast of Tabernacles begins. On the third full moon from now we will be right where God wants us to be, on the day He proclaimed as an “appointed time.”

We are all in “preparation mode” for the Feast. We’ve registered, we’ve made housing and transportation arrangements, we’ve saved our second (festival) tithe faithfully throughout the year (a key component of preparing for the Feast) and we are ready to go.

The Feast of Tabernacles is a joyous time. It pictures the time when Christ is King of kings. Satan has been deposed and the whole world will be free to learn and live by the Word of God—the very word and way of life we are striving to learn and apply today so we are ready to be teachers in the “world tomorrow” (Isaiah 30:20-21).

As part of our proper and God-instructed way of observing the Feast, we leave our homes behind for the entire seven days of the Feast and the Eighth Day. That pictures the temporary state of our existence on this earth and our willingness to come out of the world to where God has placed His name.

He says to be at “that place” by the time the Feast of Tabernacles begins. That’s at sunset that begins the 15th of the seventh month on the sacred calendar.

Would you dare be late to an assembly the Great God of this universe has called—the God who has offered us eternal life if we follow Him and earnestly, diligently and carefully learn and keep all His ways?

God sees our hearts by how we observe the Feast of Tabernacles.

As we prepare for the Feast, bear in mind that you are also preparing your heart for how you receive God’s Kingdom. Will you be late, asleep or unprepared like the five “foolish virgins” of Matthew 25?

Or will you be ready? Will you be at the Holy convocation of God as the Feast begins in the very first service at the site you will be attending? We know where we should be. Now is the time to be preparing to be there in that Holy convocation as the Feast begins.

Might there be some who are still deciding or doubting whether they can go to the Feast as God commands? What is your reason? How can we help you to be there? We have a responsibility to be at the Feast and to help each other be at the Feast, much the same as we exhort one another to stay on the road to God’s Kingdom. Notice how God expects everyone to be at His Feast, just as His desire is that all repent and receive eternal life:

“And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place that the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice” (Deuteronomy 16:14-15).

Let’s all be preparing for and planning to go to the Feast of Tabernacles and to be there the entire time, at His Holy convocations beginning with the very first service through the very last service of the Eighth Day. And let’s continue to plan to be there, and to be ready and awake when Christ returns and His millennial reign begins.

May you have a profitable day of preparation for the Sabbath and an inspiring Sabbath day.