Speak to the Israelites and say to them: These are my appointed times, the Lord’s appointed times, which you will declare to be holy occasions. CEB
These feasts are not so much Israel’s festivals, or festivals for the Jews, but rather God’s appointments with man, occasions of the Lord. These are God’s feasts that He gave to His people.
It was Passover (the feast Yeshua so longed to celebrate with His disciples) that the early church fathers and believers kept and honored for centuries. These feasts were observed by the Gentiles that joined the faith for several hundred years until First Testament wisdom began to be replaced by emerging new doctrines. In many ways, true biblical “Christianity,” which was the 1st century faith of Yeshua, was hijacked. We ventured off from the rich root of Yeshua’s ways, His lessons with their confounding idioms, His culture and traditions, His Jewish mindset, the feasts He loved, and the Word (or Torah) He embodied.
Today, many Christians are re-examining these rich appointed times of God. They are seeing the value of integrating these celebrations into their lives, and are paying homage to these festivals—these feasts—by returning to the appointed times Yeshua loved. In so doing, Christians are actually fulfilling prophecy.
Adonai Tzva’ot (The Lord of Hosts) says concerning the appointed times, “When that time comes, ten men (from the nations) will take hold of the cloak of a Jew and say, ‘We want to go with you, because we have heard that God is with you’” (Zechariah 8:23 CJB).
At the beginning of the movie Fiddler on the Roof, Tevya says, “How do we keep our balance in life? We have traditions for everything—how to eat, sleep, dress, worship, celebrate, and live. Because of this, everyone knows who he is and what God expects of him. Without our traditions, life would be as shaky as … a fiddler on the roof!”
Tradition is one of the cornerstones of the Jewish life. The Torah has taken the extravagant plans and purposes of God and then provides a way for His children to understand the mind of God through patterns and pictures. I remember watching Fiddler as a young girl, and it was Tevya’s opening song, that helped me realized that life is all about the rhythm – the heartbeat – and the balance of tradition and biblical truth.
People are hungry for knowledge and truth, and God is bringing us together for such a time as this. I applaud you my brothers and sisters for awakening to God’s calendar. May we all show up for our appointments and proclaim these times as Holy!