Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. Deuteronomy 16:16a
Read: Deuteronomy 16:1-17
Listen: Deuteronomy 16
The Israelites make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate a feast three times each calendar year. These feasts, given at God’s command, coincide with a particular harvest (barley, wheat and fruit). Celebrated year after year, these feasts are Passover (reflects on the Exodus), Pentecost (commemorates the giving of the law at Mount Sinai) and Tabernacles (looks back at the wilderness wanderings and God’s provision). Each feast includes a major agricultural element and God’s desire that they remember essential parts of their history. They are to celebrate and remember.
As we look at the feasts over the next few weeks, we’ll notice that each one includes three parts: gratitude, generosity and community. In gratitude, they are to remember that everything they have comes from God. Through generosity, they demonstrate that everyone is always to be giving something. Celebrating as a community ensures everyone, including “people who don’t have people,” participates.
As Jesus-followers, we too are to be people—both individually and collectively—who celebrate and remember. It’s probably easiest to do this at this time of year when we’re days away from Thanksgiving and a month away from Christmas. But as we’ll see this week, we’re to do this on a frequent, regular basis. When we do, we remember that God rescues, guides and provides.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Think back over the past year and list some things you can celebrate and where you remember God’s goodness. Don’t rush by those parts of your year that were difficult and painful. Spend the time to remember what God did in those spaces as well.
2022 BIBLE MEMORY PRACTICE
Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.