Sunday, June 8, 2008

Celebrating Shavuot

Roni, Roni, Bat Zion (Rejoice, Rejoice, Daughter of Zion) - Paul Wilbur

I LOVE this song! It makes me think of Ruth (...daughter of Zion...) which is typically read on this holiday!

In Bible times, this holiday was an agricultural festival-a time for our people to present the firstfruits of the crops to God, gratefully giving back to the Lord that which He had given to us.

A firstfruits offering was actually presented at the end of

Passover (Leviticus 23:9-14). Then, seven weeks after Passover came Shavuot. This feast literally means "weeks." Shavuot fell fifty days after the Sabbath which came during Passover (Leviticus 23:15, 16), thus in Greek it was called Pentecost, or "fiftieth."

After the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, the agricultural rites associated with the biblical feasts could no longer be observed. Jewish tradition made a connection between Shavuot and the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, which was understood to be the fiftieth day after the Israelites came out of Egypt. The holiday also came to be called, "The Season of the Giving of the Law." To this day, it has become traditional to observe Shavuot by staying up all night and studying Torah.

In Acts 2 and 3, the New Covenant records that the Holy Spirit was poured out at Shavuot. As a result, 3,000 Jewish people recognized that Y'shua was indeed the Messiah, and they turned to God. These souls were the firstfruits of God's gospel harvest.- from Jews for Jesus.

I wrote a post over at my personal blog just expressing my joy and excitement and awareness at what a treasure and honor I have before me today and everyday in teaching my boys God's word as He writes it on my heart! You can go there to read the entire post if you'd like. But here I just wanted to share some of what we're planning to do:

1. Light the candles at evening at the dinner table with some neighbor friends we've invited and pray!
2. Get out the calendar and count the Omer (for more on that go here, but in short, it's the counting of 50 days- hence pentecost- from the day the FIRST of the firstfruits was offered to God, which typifies Jesus's resurrection, to the day that the ten commandments were given, which typifies the day the law was written on our hearts by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.)
3. Make 2 loaves of bread.
4. Eat cheese and honey blintzes.
5. Sing and dance.
6. Color a pretty picture of a dove along with the word JOY on it.
7. Watch the NEST movie Ruth.
8. Stay up late doing all this!

For ideas and great info on celebrating this feast go here and here and here.

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