Friday, October 6, 2023

Shalom in the Sukkah


This past week of Sukkot has been wonderful -- wet, but wonderful.  We didn't get our sukkah fully done until Wednesday, but have been enjoying it since Sunday.  Here are a few pics.  We enjoy eating meals there, listening to the birds, watching the bees and butterflies, reading the Word, praying, and just thanking God for all the blessings He pours out on us every day.   We "dwell" in the sukkah because it is a commandment:

"On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord seven days.… All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God."

(Leviticus 23:39, 42–43)

During this season, we remember how God led the Israelites out of Egypt, protected them, provided for them, and "tabernacled" with them.  When we celebrate Sukkot, we sit in a frail dwelling, and we believe that when Messiah came, He embodied this very idea.  As Yeshua's disciple, John said,  “[God] became flesh and tabernacled among us” (John 1:14 TLV)

So, as we sit in the sukkah, we meditate on His presence being with us.  We take time to be still and listen to His voice.  Someone described it as a "holy hug".  I like that, don't you?  It's also a time to look back and remember how He has led us, protected us, and provided for us over the last year.

Our cat, Toonie Woo Esq. enjoys it too.

The flowers from the golden rain tree make the walkway look like the Yellow Brick Road.

Isn't this amazing?  Golden rain blossoms in the Golden Garden of Golden Cottage.  It reminds me of this Scripture and a dream I had about it:  

A highway will be there, a way,
called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not pass over it,
but it will be for those whom he guides —
fools will not stray along it.

 (Isaiah 35:8) 

The dream came at a very low point of my life.  I was in a car on a highway in the middle of the desert.  The highway was like a railroad trestle up high in the air.  The supports were crumbling, and ahead of me, there was no road at all. I cried out, "What can I do?"  Then to my left, I saw another highway in the distance.  The cars were going in a different direction.  What was most important was that the road was like bright, shining gold.  I pointed to the road and said, "That's where I'm supposed to be."  

Adonai was speaking to me, leading me to walk in His Word, His Will, and His Ways.  I didn't know what that meant at the time, but God led me along until I found that His Way of Holiness means following His commandments.  I had been a church-going Southern Baptist most of my life, but God put me on a new path that led to Messianic Judaism.  And it has been a path of great blessing.

Did you know that Sukkot will be celebrated "forever"?  Yes - read Zechariah 14.  In some Bible versions Sukkot is called the Feast of Tabernacles.  I challenge you to use Bible Gateway and search for Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles.  You will be surprised what you learn.  I especially love John 7 - which is about the feast and how Yeshua and his disciples attended the celebration.  It was during the water pouring ceremony that he presented himself as "the Living Water".  An understanding of how important water was/is to Israel gives deeper understanding of His words.  An interesting study, and I hope you'll pursue it.

Another blessing was celebrating Sukkot with our synagogue family . . . joy-full singing, dancing, parading the Torah, waving the lulav and, of course, feasting. 



 This is just "some" of the beautiful food we had that day. The ladies did a great job of cooking and decorating.


And another blessing . . . we celebrated our oldest grandson's 14th birthday this week.  I still can't figure out how he grew up so fast.  He'll be driving before I know it.

I got lots of hugs and kisses from him and his little brother, who is two and a half already.  He fell asleep before I could get a good pic of him.  He's a busy little boy!   I have to watch out -- he'll be grown if I blink!

I always say, "grandchildren are a whole new level of love."   I found this prayer for grandchildren by Stormie O'Martian and hope it blesses you.

"Lord, draw my grandchildren close to You. Help them to come to know You in a deep and committed way so that their relationship with You grows every day. Teach them to understand Your laws and commandments, and help them keep Your ways faithfully. Enable them to be so strong in Your Word that they inspire their own parents and friends. Show my grandchildren’s parents and me how to communicate Your Word to them in ways they understand and retain so that they are always drawn to it.
Excerpt from: "The Power of a Praying Grandparent”

I have all of her books and have to get this one.

This evening is Shabbat, then tomorrow we'll celebrate Simchat Torah.  Hopefully, I can show you pics of that.  I'm looking forward to "rejoicing in the Torah".  I love the holidays!

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sukkot Sameach!

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