The Countdown to Something
The Feast of Weeks
In Judaism it’s known as the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. In Christianity, it is known as Pentecost. It’s the same thing, though celebrated rather differently and occasionally on slightly different days due to calendar discrepancies. Yet, either one without the other is missing a key ingredient.
The Lord commanded the Feast of Weeks, 50 days from the Second Day of the Passover. So, from the day following the first day of Passover, you count 50 days to a day usually in late May or June. This was the very day the Lord gave the Torah, the life instructions to the people of Israel. We call it the Law, but it’s an instruction manual for life.
Thousands of years later, in Israel, the gift that Jesus had promised after His resurrection, was scheduled to arrive. They waited in Jerusalem literally counting the days. And as promised, God showed up with a sort of fireworks only God can pull off. Tongues of fire landed on the heads of believers and they were filled with the Holy Spirit, who literally burned the Torah on their hearts.
Jeremiah 31:33 says, “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Whenever my family has celebrated Shavuot, or Feast of Weeks, in the past, we’ve followed some of the Torah instruction. We avoided work that day. We read the Torah. We baked two loaves of bread in honor of the two stones that contained the Law, but also in honor of the two covenants. We bring spring inside with flowers and budding tree branches. We wave them and sing and celebrate together. We do this as an object lesson for our children, to teach them as we walk, as we eat, as we live our daily lives.
Now, we wait expectantly for God’s greatness to show up! For Him to do the miraculous. Rather than striving to follow the law, we can allow Him to do a work inside us, to change our hearts, to make us into Love, because He is Love, and Love is how we keep the law in spirit and in truth. We can find rest in Him, we can cease our striving, not cease our obedience.
It isn’t about Legalism. It’s about Love. It’s about an overspill of our Love for Jesus that we choose to worship the ways He worshipped, the ways His Father, our God and Father, prescribed. It’s not about getting every detail properly Jewish. It isn’t about adding burden to our grace. But it’s about Worship! Pure Worship.
Bake some bread if you wish and break it together with your family as you recognize the harvest of the first fruits and the spiritual significance of that. Bring in some Spring, and talk about how God makes all things new, how He can cause buds to burst forth on dormant hearts. Read the Torah together and worship God for His loving-kindness as he gave us the Law as a blessing, not a curse.
Proverbs 29:18 says, Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
Receive His blessings as you worship Jesus, and welcome the Holy Spirit into your homes anew.