Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Most Popular Feast of the Year

Part 2 in this story series ...

Think of it as an ancient Thanksgiving feast, except one that lasted a full seven days.


The Feast of Tabernacles.

Americans think their turkey day is lavish. But this celebration more than eclipsed it.

And by far, it was the most popular feast of the year for the Jewish people 2,000 years ago.

It took place in the same time of year that our Thanksgiving takes place -- autumn. People made "booths," from tree branches. These little shelters peppered the streets, parks and even the roofs of houses throughout Jerusalem -- and along the roads leading into the city.

They signified the 40 years that the Israelites wandered through the wilderness to their Promised Land and the tents in which their forefathers lived before reaching their permanent home.

One of the highlights each day was the pouring of water in the Temple ... using the Golden Pitcher. The water also had its own symbolism: that of the water that poured when Moses struck a rock in the desert.

In the evenings, the priests lit two candelabra, which represented the pillar of fire that God used to lead the people through the Sinai peninsula.

Then, after the seventh day, the people came together for a solemn assembly, where they would remember all of the things God did, including the outpouring of water.

What they didn't realize was that the water held a deeper significance -- that of His Spirit that thoroughly quenches the thirst of the human soul.

Perhaps it was this lack of understanding that led to the most dramatic celebration of Sukkot when Jesus Himself attended the festivities.

It became a Sukkot that would be remembered for the next 2,000 years.

At the center of the controversy?

The Golden Pitcher.

What does this have to do with a Christian Safehouse? Tune in for part 3 of the story ...

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