Our family has been learning a lot about the Biblical feast days. We're fascinated by what we are studying! The children have joined The Lawyer and I in watching some video teachings and we've read Scripture together, seeking to understand things we haven't seriously considered before. Because of this, we were talking about whether or not we would celebrate the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) last week. (I apologize that this is long, but I want to remember how the Lord met us!)
The main reasons we had not to celebrate were that we simply didn't know how to (and reading and figuring it out takes time!), we didn't have a trumpet or horn or shofar, we didn't have special feast foods on hand (and I didn't want to try my hand at making challah!), and we didn't have anyone to celebrate with (and really, celebrations are so much more fun with others!).
So, this is a story of how the Lord met us in our weakness and neediness and brought glory to His kingly name.
First, we admitted that even though we didn't know how to celebrate exactly, we did feel compelled to celebrate. We were convicted by the idea that these are the feasts "of the Lord" and that as the Lord's people, we ought to observe them. There is so much about this idea that stirs our hearts, it would be impossible to share it in this post. Suffice to say, feasts are special times for the Lord's families and we believe that special food, special traditions, special ceremonies or music or readings all help us to remember and think on what the Lord has done, what He has promised, and who He is. What wonderful ways to talk to our children about the Lord and prepare our hearts for Jesus' second coming! Celebrating the Feast of Trumpets appealed to us.
THE SHOFAR: I've learned that when I think I lack something, I can just as my Father. Either He provides it, or I didn't really need it. Therefore, I asked the Lord to provide a shofar or horn IF He wanted us to celebrate this Feast. We needed it by Monday. We couldn't buy it (a shofar runs about $40-$500 and we only had $30 discretionary funds this month). Each day as I walked, I would remind the Lord that we were waiting to see if He would provide a shofar and that we were willing to celebrate this Feast if He met this need.
Finally, on Saturday night, I had the idea to post on our church yahoo group that I was looking to borrow a horn or trumpet. I doubted that anyone would see a post so late at night or that they would check the group on Sunday. I didn't hear anything back. I wasn't surprised, but I was a little disappointed because this was one of my last hopes for finding a horn. Sunday morning, I pulled in to church with the kids at the same time that another family was just getting out of their car. By the time I got out of our van, the father of the family was beside me, TWO shofar/horns in his hands. We got to PICK which horn we would borrow. It struck me how generous God is to supply MORE than we need sometimes.
THE FOOD: Now that we had a horn, I really needed to plan a Feast! On Monday (the Feast day), I organized a quick grocery list and prepped a special meal for the evening. I had to run out for something else, and took 2 boys with me to Kroger. We picked up our few items, including the wine, challah, yogurt covered raisins, and bugles. Then, we went to the self-checkout, which is where I realized that my wallet was is the other van. The sweet checkout lady has seen me so often that she let me buy the wine without an i.d. and I wrote out a check for the groceries. She took the check and we took our groceries and began the long walk to the door. Then, another cashier started calling to me across the store, telling me to come back. I so wanted to pretend that I didn't hear her. I was practically out the door with my 2 bags of groceries and 2 little boys who were driving their shopping carts with enthusiasm (and a bit rowdier than I like). Still, I returned. She couldn't accept my check without my i.d. and apparently the other cashier had gone on break after we handed her the check. We ran through options, but they didn't work for me. Come back later? No; I had a napping child at home, food to prepare, and no time to return. Go retrieve the wallet? Same problem with time. Have the Lawyer stop by? Too troublesome. I pleaded with her, "please? I need these groceries for a feast tonight. I can come back tomorrow and pay and you can hold my check?" No way. So, I sadly handed her the bags of groceries and two sad little boys and a very sad me walked back across the store to leave. "Ma'am!" I heard again. She called me back again. Apparently, a woman had overheard our exchange and offered to buy the groceries. Touched by the generosity of this woman, we went over to thank her. I held out my check to her (she declined) and then asked for her name so I could send her cash. She again declined. "You have a very nice family," she said, "and you are a very nice woman. I do this all the time. I'm the Lord's and I do it in His name." Well! I believe I was crying as we walked away for the third time. Now, we had our Feast food- and we didn't even pay for it.
THE FELLOWSHIP: It's pretty tricky to get together with people; everyone is just so busy. Still, we had a family in mind that lives close to us and has become dear to us over the past few years. On Monday we invited them to join us for our Feast of Trumpets celebration. They said YES! (It's a small miracle that they were even available!) Neither family had much food for the evening meal, so we decided to eat dinner in our own homes and then gather afterward. For some reason, that just didn't sit well with us, and by that afternoon we asked them to also join us for dinner. They did! Not only did we have enough food (I'm surprised how our two small packages of lamb could feed two families!), but they brought food, too, and it truly felt like a feast. Beautiful, varied dishes and flavors, and the fun of sharing mealtime with this precious family made the feast so special to us. And THEN! Then, we took turns reading Scripture, discussing the Feast of Trumpets, eating our fun Feast food, and then singing (with guitar, violin, mandolin, shakers, and horn!) together. It was a lovely, joyous time of learning and celebrating. I can't imagine what it would have been like not to have had others to share this with!
O and I made a festive, multicolored banner to hang. The kids cooked and cleaned with me. We readied the house for our guests. We combed through information on the Internet and printed little packets for our time together. Our Feast observance surely could have been improved upon (keeping the day holy and without work would be a great start!), but still it was fun and holy and exciting and memorable. We are SO very thankful that the Lord provided, drew our hearts to worship Him in this way, and showed us clearly that He was pleased for us to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. The kids have already started talking about next year and next Feast (Yom Kippur is tomorrow!) ... which is keeping The Lawyer and I digging and reading and learning and praying. What a good season to be in!