Today, I was blessed and excited to experience a celebration of God’s Glory…it is called the “Feast of Tabernacles” or the “Feast of Booths”. This was my second year of participating in this amazing event and it seemed ‘different’ this time.
A brief synopsis: The Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of God’s glory – His manifest presence amongst His people. It’s a yearly celebration that the jewish community (and many Christians) celebrate in rememberence of the fact that God tabernacled with His people. You also bring a special offering as thanks to God for all He has done for you. As a Christ follower, this is even more significant because we see this in Jesus coming to walk with us on earth and the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. You can read more about it in Leviticus 23:34-43
So as I prepared for this celebration today, I reflected on how the Lord has manifested His Glory in my life and if I’ve thanked Him for it…or have I just glossed over it as if it is a privilege I am no longer impressed with; it made me wonder. Upon arriving at the church, I was anticipating and expecting God to show me something about Himself and about me. Can I just tell you that church is a VERY different experience when you actually expect to hear and experience God. As we sung songs, danced, waved our palms and just expressed our gratefulness to Him, I began to sense that the Lord was about to answer my prayer…and He did!
The speaker began to share his message and it became clear why I was feeling as I did that morning. He spoke about Jubilee and freedom…freedom in Christ and whether or not we are truly free. He asked two questions, but the first question stood out: “Am I free?” He taught from Luke 4 when Jesus opened the scroll and read those powerful words from the prophet Isaiah. (Luke 4:17-21) Now, Jesus said who He was and why He came…but did I believe it?
I sat there and thought about the years prior filled with worrying, fretting, obsessing about my future, my family, my life, my finances…just a life of constant fear and worry. I would pray for freedom from worry…from those chains. I would get off my knees only to go back and pick those chains up once again…and again, and again. But, thankfully, I kept praying, I kept asking and kept believing…that I would be freed from this thing. This year, I realized that He has allowed my eyes to see and my mind to accept that fact that I am free from those chains – but I had to choose to accept and walk in my freedom. So, when the teacher asked, “Am I free”, I finally realized that I have always been free, but now I am walking in it. Those chains have been nailed to the cross for a long time and captivity is done…it’s done, Dawn.
So, today as I celebrated the Glory of the Lord among His people, I worshipped Him differently. My thankfulness was not some obscure Christian ideal…but a real, present response to a real and present God. Today I celebrated my gift and journey from worry to worship.