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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rosh Hadesh

Go & enjoy choice food & sweet drinks & send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Neh. 8:10This was the New Moon week so the heavens opened & torrential rain fell. Brisbane flooded. Choir got cancelled, which is unheard of. We got something like 11" in 24 hours. That is a lot of rain! Great weather for ducks as the saying goes ~ but we are not ducks & watched the rain with a cynical eye because we had things to do & they were all outside things.Verandah posts & railings were on the menu. We had had the forethought to move our posts inside & drilled & screwed them together on our living room floor while the rain fell outside & when we finally got a break in our weather we rushed outside & frantically jammed them in their holes & screwed them down tight.

We also had two ramps to put in. I-- & G----, who worship with us, had a cut up floor available & God had ensured the dimensions were absolutely perfect for what needed to be done. Both ramps slid neatly into place with nary a hiccup. It was incredible. If you've ever built anything you know that just doesn't happen. Things have to be measured & cut & tweaked & poked before they will fit where they are supposed to fit because you measured very carefully before you started. Oh, yeah?

We slid the last post into place late Friday afternoon & the girls & I tidied the verandah up. Lots of lovely scraps for the fire. Friday was absolutely glorious & we were hopeful that Saturday would dawn just as fair. Perish the thought! I woke early to the rain thundering on the roof like a stampeding buffalo herd & then the wind began. Branches thudded & clunked after the rain but at least it was warm.

Friday evening the girls & I had spent in the kitchen ~ my favourite room in the house ~ I don't think. Liddy was experimenting with dips & finger foods & boy did she turn out some wonderful concoctions! Cucumber & pear dip. Sweet & sour dip. Mushroom thingies on crispy toast squares. Those were particularly good! Yum! I had a beesting cake to make ~ a cake my kids adore because the custard is *real* custard made with eggs & milk & cornflour & not the imitation stuff that comes in a packet. Dearest marinated his chicken. The kitchen began to look like ground zero & we were all very late to bed.

I'm not much of a party girl. All my children are far more social than I am but I found myself looking forward to our celebration despite the weather which did a Contrary Mary all day offering blue sky one minute & torrential downpours the next. We lit the fire & had a wonderful bed of coals by the time we started. Unfortunately several of our guests became ill & couldn't make it which was a pity & Dearest is fretting about all the food left over.

Now for those curious to know how we tackled this:

Firstly apologies for no piccies. We think the memory card on the camera has blitzed. Anyway the thing won't take outdoor shots; they white out.

We sat around our fire toasting our toes though the weather was behaving nicely & because this was our first one & no~one, including us, had a clue we began with why we were doing this. I have 7 reasons & some interesting information.

1. Jesus kept the feasts. His was a kosher household, very devout. They went down to Jerusalem each year to keep the Passover. Jesus was presented in the temple according to the law...a careful reading of the scriptures shows he was Jewish in his thinking & outlook & kept the customs of his faith so keeping the festivals helps us understand Christ better.

2. God sees all believers as part of Israel, adopted or grafted into the root of Israel & so these festivals were given to us too.

3. The feasts were to be a statute forever throughout the generations ~ a reminder of the goodness & providence of God.

4. The feast shed light on biblical prophecy & God's plan for mankind.

5. They shed light on the plan for the Messiah.

6. The feasts utilise all 5 senses to bring about a deeper understanding of God.

7. God might be always there but he also appointed us special times to meet with Him in the feasts.

Now I know lots & lots of Christians would argue that we are under grace, not the law & that is true but it also necessiates a proper understanding of what is meant by grace because Jesus stated he did not come to do away with the Law but to fulfil it. Not one iota of it has been done away with ~ which is a bit of a worry as I'm not good about legal things & am so not detail oriented. So one of the things I turned up was this interesting tit~bit: In Jewish thinking the Torah {Law} was instruction, that if followed enriches one's life; ignoring it diminishes one's life. The festivals are for our enrichment.

For the New Moon festival particularly it is a mini new beginning, a symbol of hope: God will return; God will restore; God will renew. It is a reminder of the redemption of Israel through the coming of the messiah & it is an opportunity to sense God's shekinah [dwelling glory] under the night sky.

So we ran through that & then just very simply went through several scriptures that touch on the instigation & meaning of the festivals. Genesis 1:14 {the term translated seasons is moed & means appointed times. It is the word used in Leviticus too} Lev 23: 1 & 2; Isiah 66:22 & Neh 8:10

We then read a traditional Jewish prayer & recited psalm 118 together. Psalm 118 is part of the longer Hallel which is usually recited at Passover I think & shorter versions are recited at the other festivals. We then moved into some new testament scripture & had communion together before heading on to the veranda & the FOOD!

I was a bit surprised at all the questions I got asked & even more surprised that mostly I had the answers! lol. A bit wonky about how the Jewish calendar actually worked. Math stuff, but I knew why it was worked that way! :) So I didn't get to just plow straight through ramming information down people's throats, as is my wont [shocking, I know] but had to stop & explain & show how I'd come to my conclusions. When we'd finally got through everything I-- turned to me & said, 'Why doesn't the church teach this?!' Which was exactly my reaction when I first started seeing how this stuff worked. The best I can come up with on that is that the Judaic Christian church would have gone under in 70 AD when Rome blitzed Israel & we lost the Judaic tradition but kept the gentile traditions with their tacked on paganisms. Yet when we return to the Judaic roots we find one long continuous, unbroken thread running through scripture.

I have been blessed immeasurably by returning to the Jewish roots of Christianity & savouring the delightful surprises God hid away in there!


MamaOlive said...

That's a lot of rain!

Oh, the feast sounds really cool, too. ;-) Thanks for including enough details that I can get an idea of how it worked out. I've always been interested in the church's Jewish history, but it seems that most groups who promote such things are pretty kooky. It's hard to find a good balance.

Ganeida said...

mmm...I was thinking of you...& seeking. She must be busy. Nary a peep from her corner of the net. I can email you any extra details you want. Just tug the cord; you know how it works. :D

Britwife said...

I must confess, that I as an active Christian, have never even heard of this....(yes, I understand that it is Jewish, but isn't that the root of Christianity?)
I am so glad that everything went so well - the food sounds wonderful. That Liddy can cook for ME, anyday!
We went camping this weekend - it was a long weekend (Memorial Day). Do you celebrate that there too?

Ganeida said...

No memorial day out here & Liddy can cook for me whenever she likes. She's GOOD!

seekingmyLord said...

I have had a few friends who were raised in the Jewish faith and converted. I have had a few friends who were Christian that went on the same journey that you now trod, adding Jewish traditions in their home worship. My husband and I are both interested in doing the same--actually, he is more read up on the traditions than I am. For now, my plate is pretty full, but in time I think we will do this too. It truly fascinates me. I like all your seven reasons, but I think what caught me in particular was #6. I can see how that aspect could be most appealing for the Princess.

As for what I have been doing, you will have to read up on my next blog entry whenever I get it done...if I get it done...I will eventually get it done...I think....