Deuteronomy 16: 13-15
13 “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. 15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.
It’s been a quiet Sukkot this year. I would have loved to have gone to the “Harvest Festival” @ Morning Star, but with school and work, i guess it was more wishful thinking that practical relevance.
Our dear friend Paul (yes you are sooo dear to us dude), is in Israel, and it’s had my heart longing to stroll along those landscapes. However, G-d’s been having me look at the inner landscapes this week, in an internal Sukkot.
I love the Jewish Feast Days and their meanings as they are vast and layered in texture. Sukkot or AKA “The Feast of Ingathering”/ "Feast of Booths" or "Tents"- is much along the lines of our American Thanksgiving, where people come together and celebrate the Harvest and the transition to the New World.
The reaping of our labor from our “threshing floor” and “wine press” is part of what drew my spirit gaze today.
From an internal landscape perspective, both signify to me, the hard aspects of tilling the ground of our hearts and sifting our “wheat”, what is good, holy and will bring forth more growth in sustenance and the “tares”, that which are worthless, or the products of soulish self. I could “tare” into a soliloquy regarding that aspect, but suffice to say that the tossing part of allowing the winds of grace to blow that away, is more His Heart on the matter than dwelling in that tent of regret. I’d rather focus on the wine and not “whine” on all that.
The wine press of all our grapes of experience, both sour and juicy plump luscious bits, ferment in the spirit and produce a glass or vat that is worth sharing. I’ve never seen G-d waste anything, He’s much more frugal with the aspects of our lives, that we instinctively wish to throw away.
All these things that are either “by His Hand or through His Hand” make up this Harvest of Spirit. Sukkot is considered a Sacred/ solemn celebration, which bares the contrast of what is to be taken serious and the joy of the promise that He will “Bless” the work of our hands in this Kingdom co-laboring.
The solemn aspect that this journey and year has been difficult and the labor strenuous is not something to be simply overlooked, but acknowledged; both sweat and tears reflect the saltiness of our lives, in which, salt brings out the flavor.
We celebrate in that acknowledgement, making the joy more defined and in ways a more sustainable fruit.
I find G-d’s inclusive perspective of whom we share this “Feast” and our “Tent” (family, extended family, “Levite”/ “Worship Artisans”, strangers, the fatherless and the widows) such the extension of His heart.
We tend to so compartmentalize our lives, and in many ways i understand that it’s necessary to function and not go crazy in the day to day. But to look at it from a Kingdom view for a moment, we really are a traveling Sukkah.
The people we are called to share the tent and table of our lives, may or may not have been there for all the labor parts (so grateful to the ones that WERE and ARE there for the perpetual Becoming of who we are in G-d, we couldn’t have walked through some of those Wadi like, experiences without those hearth like hearts), but i guess that’s G-d’s point.
We are daily called to come out of our homes of the day to day, and create a Tent for the ongoing ingathering. I think He uses the Feasts and all that, so we can pause/reflect/ SELAH on the deeper, often relentless, meditation of His Heart.
The “how’s” in all of this seems like a juggling act, with the plates needing to land on the table. Some of us are more theatrical, with our Tent Fabric, creating ongoing focal point installations, where as others are to create the movable kibbutz of family like hubs.
However G-d chooses to create His Tapestry of Tents, the ongoing adventures are still signaled by the Cloud by Day and the Fire by Night. Dwelling with G-d and having Him dwell with us in Emmanuel’s light of Jesus is always the open invitation.