Looking for that City
Perhaps this was the most challenging Feast ever! This summer's surge in Covid cases affected the Feast plans of most of us. Feast site coordinators negotiated through a constantly changing set of circumstances. Also, you may have heard that several Feast sites had attendees who tested positive for Covid-19. Yet the Feast of 2021, whatever difficulties it presented, still leaves us with taste for what is coming: the Kingdom of God on earth.
This great Fall festival season pictures the only true hope for humanity when God will mightily intervene in human events. He will save man from his own destruction with the return of Jesus Christ to set up His everlasting kingdom. How wonderful to understand the meaning of these holydays as we look now "for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
Yesterday, this great annual celebration ended with the Last Great Day, the eighth day of the Feast. When the eighth day comes in its fulness, "the holy city, New Jerusalem" will come down "out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2). The dwelling place of God will be with men, "and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God" (verse 3). And then, all sorrow and pain will be a thing of the past, for God Himself, "will wipe away every tear" from our eyes (verse 4). He will "make all things new" (verse 5), leaving nothing of man's miserable legacy on earth. What a great salvation awaits us and all of mankind!
I hope everyone of you was able to enjoy the Feast in some meaningful way. Willa and I enjoyed an abundance of blessings with about seventy-five brethren at our Feast in southeast France. It was eight days of rich fellowship, wonderful spiritual food, and many physical enjoyments. Though one person became Covid-positive at our Feast resulting in the postponement of one service, testing and isolation assured us of no virus spread.
We come back now to our usual routines and to our normal daily circumstances. The Feast, like our physical life itself, lasts only a short while. Now, with the Feast behind us, we must not forget the vision of what lies ahead. We must more purposefully look for that holy city "which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:10). If you remain faithful to the end, you will have your place in that city. For God says, "He who overcomes shall inherit all things" (Revelation 21:7).
While we go back to our lives, remember that we are "strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Like Abraham and so many others of the faith who have gone before, we are looking for the "heavenly country" (Hebrews 11:13-16). We had a taste of that country, the coming Kingdom of God, at this Feast!
May all of us safely return to our homes and be ready to return to our normal lives with a deeper conviction of this coming reality!
I look forward to seeing many of you again soon!