Only in grammar can you be more than perfect. ~ William Safire
We are not, as some suppose, celebrating the O.T festivals as such. Rather we are using them as the springboard for the N.T revelations that they are in fact are. So no, not accurate if you know about Hannukah. Not a lot of things. However I had always planned to wind up on Christmas Evening as it is Dearest's birthday Boxing Day & in my mind the last 2 covenants belong together because when Christ returns we see all fulfillment!
And now I can look back at what we did & evaluate it in the light of experience. Did it work? Was it what we wanted? Was it worth it? Will we do it again? And here is where it gets interesting because I was just following what I felt was a nudge from the Holy Spirit & as we discussed, I am so not the doing sort. The spirit is willing but the flesh is very weak & by yesterday I'd had enough. We were all pretty tired because we were on the first boat off the island to get to church at all & as is always the way, if you know about these things, we have been under spiritual attack all week. The cats were psychotic over having being deserted for the morning & it blew 30~35 knots here yesterday so the water was as rough as.
By now my big thick candles were starting to look more than a little strange & we have wax everywhere because the yellow candle never did want to stay alight & I had decided not to bother but, undiscussed, Dino went hunting a lighter. And he did the most amazing thing. He lit the servant candle first ~ as I have done each evening & began to light the candles from right to left ~ as you are suppossed to. And as he lit each candle he put them in order & named the covenant they represented. I was so blown away. And I am so pleased he lit the candles because it created the most amazing sacred space. Everyone calmed. Yep, even the cats.
The candle light created the quiet, meditative space I so love & for the fist time all the candles were shining in the dark, their rainbow colours glowing with the reminder of God's promises. It was so lovely. And as we talked of the things of God & how there was so much more that we hadn't covered because a vessel can only hold so much at a time & we had already covered so much Dino pointed out that this was something that would translate well to church ~ as it does because I've done it for home church. Something else I love about God's festivals because they start with the family & transmute easily & naturally into church & community.
What I now know is I need to be far, far better organised ~ & well in advance so that each day flows smoothly. This can be as big & over the top or as quiet & laid back as you like. Star would like more hoop~la & pizzaz. She's like that. I need to think far more carefully & prayerfully about ways to give other than material gifts. Dino has given me several ideas here. Fried foods [because of the oil symbolism] are traditional & though we did pretty well at having something fried most nights, again I need to plan ahead better. I think I need some clear plastic folders so I can pull my book apart, put each festival with the relevant games, food, ideas & menus into it & work from there. This could be a life's work!
We also found certain difficulties arose from being out of step with the surrounding culture. Dino, of course, was still working & we had to accomodate his schedule. We still had to battle the shops just for our regular food supplies. We had to hold our tongues a lot as we got plenty of raised eyebrows when we got caught having to explain we'd already done our presents ~ & I was so trying not to have to explain to outsiders what we were doing. It can so quickly & easily be miunderstood.
What has happened however, is that while it wasn't perfect & while it felt a little strange at times, as Dino ponted out there was so much more meaning to everything! Dearest was delighted in the end. He definitely wants to do it this way again ~ as does Dino. A little more pizzaz & I think even Star will be happy. She does so love a good fuss!
What is most important to me though is how the Holy Spirit took even such a poor offering & worked with what we could do, anointing & blessing it with the unction of His spirit. I might have missed it except for a niece of mine who promptly posted what Santa had left for her under the tree Christmas morning. We were so not there & I am so grateful to be able to help my children celebrate in a way that will bless them in unknown ways for years to come. It is the sort of legacy that no amount of money can buy, the pearl of great price for which a man sells everything he has. So, yes, worth every moment.