You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations (Leviticus 23:41 Leviticus 23:41And you shall keep it a feast to the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: you shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
American King James Version×).
I’m going to pose a simple question to you. Be warned: I feel like the more time you spend thinking and reflecting on it the more complex it might get. The question is simply this: Will you be getting the most out of your Feast experience this year? I hope the quick answer for all of us is yes! Let’s park that thought for a bit, and we’ll revisit it again later.
I will be real with you. I’m a reflector of past Feast experiences—or any experience really! I like to think about what went well and what did not. There are Feasts that I didn’t have the right frame of mind to really get anything out of it. Reflecting on those Feasts I realized I viewed the Feast time as solely as a “vacation” and a time to socialize and to have the most fun ever. Socializing and having fun are wonderful parts of the Feast, but it shouldn’t be the overarching reasons we go.
As I reflected on those Feasts where I was present only in body and not present completely spiritually, I began to wonder: “Was the only time I bowed my head to pray at the beginning and end of services?” “Did I really only open God’s Holy Word during services and that’s it?” “Wow, did I really go the entire Feast and not have any alone time with my Creator and Savior and enter their Holy presence simply because I was too busy?”
I’m being honest with you folks, and I hope in like manner you are being honest with yourselves! Do we spend time praying on our knees, reading the Bible or other spiritual material, do we meditate and enter Holy presence by spending some quality alone time with God and Jesus Christ? Are we serving? Are we being holy examples? Are we getting the most out of the Feast? Folks, these are tough questions to answer, and even I have a hard time answering these questions because I might not like the honest answer, but I do ask myself these questions. I invite you to not only ask them, but to answer them honestly. There’s comfort knowing that we are only telling God what He already knows, but He appreciates that, because He can work with that.
Thankfully, as I reflected on my shortcomings from prior Feasts long ago I realized that I needed to make some changes or I’ll be continually missing out! Now those changes didn’t all happen the next Feast. But it started with the next one, and I continued to build upon those changes year after year. I tried to deepen my understanding of the holy text, pray more, spend alone time with God, serve more. This year I hope to learn the concept of being able to be served, as its been a tough year for me, as well as my family! I made, and I’m continuing to make, small changes consistently, with conviction, as I continue to experience and see how powerful and life altering the Feast is. It can be life altering for everyone if we put in an honest effort. Friends, these small changes will begin to add up over time and what you’ll experience is something that’s incredible and real!
These days at the Feast, some might see me and think I might be a bit of a loner. That’s fine, but it’s during these times that I have time to get some powerful one-on-one time with God and Jesus. Maybe it’s during a stroll at sunrise or sunset on the beach, in a forest, on top of a mountain, or even alone in a room while people are out. Whatever the backdrop, it’s time I enjoy where I can just sit, think, and meditate on the greater meanings of my personal experiences or the great lessons from my personal shortcomings. Sometimes I bring along my Bible and stop to read a bit. Then I continue walking and reflect on what I just read! Other times there’s not a lot of talking involved, and that’s okay. I’m simply enjoying being in the presence of God at a Feast location with its own unique beauty.
Maybe this Feast is the Feast you find time to pray a little more. Maybe this Feast is the Feast where you really dive into God’s Word and learn more about His plan for you. Maybe you’ll search out more opportunities to serve. Maybe you’ll take a little time to take a stroll and meditate and reflect. And as with any Feast, have a ball! Enjoy the scenery, the socializing, the great food, and all the activities. But let’s all make an honest effort to make this Feast our most spiritually memorable one yet.
To revisit the opening question, “Will you be getting the most out of the Feast?” I ask you this: Will you? Make it a reality by choosing to act on those hopes and desires of getting the most out of the Feast. At the end of the day, while we are to enjoy these Holy Days, they are not Feasts unto ourselves, but to God.