The Fall Feast
Feast of Tabernacles
All names for a festival that God established and requires participants to be filled with JOY. Deuteronomy 16:14 says...
The Feast of Tabernacles is a 7 day feast. These 7 days are a great time to spend together as a family. It is almost like outdoor camping. Sound fun yet?
The first idea is to plan a sukkah, which is like a tent or a three-sided structure. It is called a tabernacle or booth. Okay, so this sounds strange. How do I build it? What should it look like?
This three-sided "tent" is usually covered with cloth, but if it rains where you live that could cause a problem. So, find a plastic material to put around three sides of your dwelling.
The inside you can decorate with all kinds of ornaments, paper chains or fruits and vegetables. They can be hand made or you can buy them at the store. It is colorful and should make you happy.
Some people run an electrical cord and have lights inside. Be careful doing this and make sure you ask your parents.
If you choose not to have electricity you should still be careful, especially if you use candles. Flashlights might be the best option.
This sukkah represents the tents that the Israelites lived in when they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. During that time they had to move around to find food and always had to be ready to leave at a moment's notice. They were not able to build a house.
The "roof" of this structure is the most important. It is supposed to made with palm branches just laying on the top. It is great if you can find large branches to put on top. If not, find something that you can see through. The object is to be able to see the stars through the roof of your sukkah.
Why are you supposed to see the stars? To remind you of how great God is. When you see the night sky through the roof of your tent, you should be reminded of all that God created! He has truly done great things for His people.
During the seven days of Sukkot you are supposed to eat meals together in this tent. You can choose to play games if you want too. Maybe even color pictures. Some people eat a meal every day for a week in their sukkah!
So, you might say, "Great. God took care of the Israelites in the desert, but what does this have to do with me? How should this apply to my life?"
God said in Zechariah 14:16 that one day "all nations of the world will one day come up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."
For those who believe in Jesus we know that He came as a baby and lived among the people. We also believe that He is coming again and will take us to the most glorious feast that we have ever eaten.
We can celebrate knowing that our Father has taken care of us and provided for us. He has given us everything. We should remind ourselves all the time of this great love He has for us.
As you spend time as a family in the sukkah - your temporary dwelling - you can look at the stars. You can read about the greatness of God in the Bible. You can be thankful for the house you live in and the food you eat. I think that will bring all of you JOY.