Meaning and Importance of the Feast of Tabernacles
by Larry Greider
“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts”’” (Leviticus 23:1).
Do modern people need to keep ancient feasts today? The answer is “yes”—if you want to know what our Creator God has in store for humanity!
Starting in the spring, the annual feast days follow the cycle of life. God’s amazing plan of restoration, redemption and salvation is good news to any who will listen. Later in the year, the fall festivals offer us clarity about God’s mercy for all humanity, by focusing on the return of Christ, who will usher in a way of peace on earth after the near destruction of humanity.
God’s Church in the modern era can trace its observance of the fall festivals back many years. Herbert W. Armstrong introduced many of us to the Feast of Tabernacles over two generations ago. Today thousands will be observing the Feast in sites all over the world.
If this is your first time to attend the Fall Feast, you are most welcome. You will learn of God’s amazing plan to save the world from a demon, Satan the devil.
If you a veteran Feastgoer, you are by now well-traveled and equipped to have another meaningful Feast that will keep alive the vision of the coming Kingdom of God on earth.
The Feast of Tabernacles is full of meaning. It shows us that dwelling in “booths,” or temporary dwellings, reflects the lack of permanence in this world. We are waiting for the time when Christ will return and restore the government of God. While there are many Old Testament rituals that we do not follow, such as offerings made by fire, we do bring an offering, representing our blessings, to further the modern-day work of the Church—proclaiming the good news of God’s return.
Keeping the Feast helps us to remember that we are ambassadors of a soon-coming Kingdom that will rescue man from his own devices. This includes the perilous times to come mentioned in the Bible. While trouble continues in the world, we have a chance to model a time yet in the future when all nations will come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts of God (Zechariah 14:16)
Include others in your plans
Making Feast plans is a part of the excitement of the Fall Feast. Most will travel some distance, and over the years most have had opportunities few others have enjoyed. Discuss your options with your family and perhaps friends and savor the chance to add travel—meeting new brethren and serving in new ways—to your goals this year. The best Feast ever starts with some of the best planning ever.
Get the most out of the Festival
The main purpose of the Feast is to come before the Eternal to worship Him and learn about living together in peace, while growing in grace and knowledge of God’s way. Plan to serve in some capacity. Perhaps there are service opportunities you haven’t experienced. This could be a year to try new ways of serving.
This year the Fall Festival will begin Oct. 1. (Most sites will have an opening service the evening before, Sunday, Sept. 30.) For some, the travel schedule on Sunday might be a little tight, and therefore leaving prior to the Sabbath of Sept. 29 would be logical. Be sure you plan ahead.
Each year new challenges come our way, and in our recent history we have had many changes. Paul talked about how the spring holy days should be observed with sincerity and truth. It is important for us all is to seek God’s truth with sincerity and humility, working together to picture a time of unity and peace. The Church of God, a Worldwide Association, will be observing its second Fall Festival as a new organization; however, we all realize our legacy is well-noted and memories are still very much alive from the decades of saints observing God’s Feast. This year we have the opportunity to encourage others and to show a spirit of peace and unity by our example.
We have a little more than six months before another celebration of God’s plan for mankind and the keeping of the Feast of Tabernacles. The time will fly by quickly, so please keep on the lookout for further information about Feast planning. Be sure to save your tithe faithfully and plan to help others. Having the best Feast ever takes planning and making the observance of God’s Holy Days a priority.
Start now to prepare to make the Feast of 2012 the best Feast ever.