Embracing the Biblical Feasts and Celebrations (our family's journey...)

Friday, December 4, 2015







It's Christmas time again and many people are wondering why some Christians are lighting Menorahs instead of putting up Christmas Trees.  



And - wow- I've been getting so many messages from sweet Moms asking if I could share our journey towards the Biblical Feasts and Celebrations.  There is no possible way I can personally respond to each friend with the love, care, and detail they deserve, so, I thought I would do one big response right here.

*Big breath*  Um, I don't feel at all qualified to write this post, but... here goes.

Our journey is ours, and I in no way want my thoughts/beliefs to offend or upset anyone else.  This is simply one girl sharing the journey God has taken her and her family on... flawed, imperfect, and struggling to live and love God in the only way we can, by Christ's grace...

So...

In our home we have been led to embrace the Biblical Feasts and Celebrations in place of traditional holidays. 


 It has been a whirlwind, crazy, wonderful journey that we are still figuring out every day.  It hasn't been easy and we are still struggling through what it looks like to walk this out in the midst of our culture, with family, friends, grace, love, and obedience to what we feel the Lord is asking of us.

When you talk 'Biblical Holidays' what many people think about is giving up Christmas and Easter.  WHAT?  Christians that feel led to let go of CHRISTMAS and EASTER? Yes.  Stay with me.

It's no surprise to hear that Christmas is the biggest holiday for Christians in North America.  

So, when you are a follower of Christ and don't do Advent, set up a Christmas Tree, display a nativity scene, hang a wreath, or talk about Baby Jesus in the Manger with your kids this time of year... you know, embrace the stuff that our culture says is 'Christmas'... well, people really wonder why.  (There's a run-on sentence for you!)

And if you simply suggest that Christmas might not be all we think it is and you start asking what the roots of holidays like Easter might actually be?  

Some people get really mad.  Some are very confused.  Most give you really weird looks.  But then some?  Some are ready and willing (craving?) to hear more about this different path that stirs their soul.  

*smile*

There is definitely something very special happening - a movement of believers towards the Biblical Holidays is growing every year.


 I think more and more of us are being led by the Spirit to seek truth about what we celebrate and why.  We have a deep-rooted desire to get back to the very roots of our faith - to explore and understand the Hebrew beginnings, the Jewish Yeshua (Jesus), and the truth of who we are as children of God, grafted in to a holy, Hebrew family. 

My husband and I never set out on a journey to reject the traditions we grew up with - not in the slightest.  I was (and still am) the biggest sucker for all things Christmas, so I get it!  

So, how did a Christmas-tree loving girl end up throwing the tree in the trash and lighting a Menorah instead?  Well...

It started with a simple comment from a blogging friend who casually mentioned her family doesn't celebrate Christmas.  


I was shocked - especially since they were bible believing Christians.  I (honestly) chalked it up as her being super weird or maybe part of a strange sect or church and I almost forgot about her comment completely.  That is, until another woman of God (now a dear and trusted friend) told me the SAME thing a year later.

This is when I knew the Spirit of God was whispering something to me.  

The first comment had planted a seed, even though my reaction was of fear and ignorance (Oh, how I'm thankful for grace!).  I immediately remembered the other lady's comment and something clicked.  I knew I needed to listen and my heart was instantly open to hearing.  The second friend's comment a year later met a softened heart, even though I had done NOTHING to soften it myself!  By this, I mean, I wasn't praying about this topic, reading about it, or ever thinking about it!  I was just following God and living every day life.  Praise God, He is always working in us...

 So, my good friend Faith and I chatted for a few HOURS one afternoon about how God had led her and her family to the Biblical Feasts many years ago.    She shared with a spirit of grace, humbleness, and love.  Never once did I feel judged.  I was in awe, shock, and a bit scared to be honest.  I didn't know what to think.  I didn't really want to let go of Christmas.  So, I prayed.  And I asked for wisdom and clarity.  And I spent countless hours reading and searching God's word, researching the roots and origins of Christmas, Easter, and many of the traditions that have become the norm in modern churches.   I think my husband thought I was slowly going crazy.

To say I was absolutely bewildered about my discoveries of the roots of "Christian" traditions is an understatement.  Everything I thought I knew about the things I celebrated as a Christian was challenged and uprooted in a few short weeks.


And although it wasn't easy, my husband and I started praying and seeking God's word for truth about what He calls us to celebrate and embrace.  And we also committed to learning about the things he warns us about and commands us to stay away from.  We committed further to learning more about our Hebrew roots and the things Christ Himself would have celebrated and honoured. We truly wanted to serve and obey Him and His Word.  As we looked closer at the incredibly pagan roots of holidays like Christmas and  Easter we could no longer doubt what God was showing us, and His Spirit was confirming for us. 

He was leading us away from the traditions we knew (and loved!) and towards what He had for us.  Which, of course, is so much better, more rich, more meaningful, more wonderful than we could have ever imagined!  Because, well, that's who God is, isn't it?

And that's the thing about letting go of man-made traditions.  It's not really that big of a deal when you realize that something SO MUCH BETTER is waiting for you!   The appointed Feasts and Holy-days God gives us are far more powerful, prophetic, beautiful.  Also, we are filled with joy because we stand firm in the truth that what we are celebrating honours God and follows what He has asked of us.




 



So, that's where we are today.  Still learning and growing and trying to navigate all the 'newness' of establishing completely different traditions in our home.  Our extended family all celebrate the traditional holidays, so it is a challenging balance.  We understand that to reject traditional celebrations and instead embrace the Biblical Feasts is a very unusual stand for most Christians.  So, we are desperately trying to walk humbly and tread lightly.  We love our families and desire above all the honour and respect them.

We continue to pray for open hearts and for the Spirit of God to move and His truth to be revealed.

The best way to describe it is this - as for us and our home, we will serve the Lord how we feel called to.  We do, however, spend time at family celebrations because we love our families and feel that being present is much more important than making a statement.  (You know what I mean.)

Over the past couple years, we've been moved to the core by so many new, God-honouring traditions.  We enjoyed the beautiful and deeply spiritual celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.  This is when we celebrate the birth of Christ!

We've also embraced Passover instead of Easter.  This rocked my world the first time I fully studied and grasped onto the overwhelming prophetic truth and power wrapped up in Passover!  WOW.

We've celebrated Purim and we've embraced Hanukkah.  Purim and Hanukkah are not appointed Feasts but I believe they are honouring to God.  Purim is outlined in the book of Esther.  Hanukkah is a beautiful, powerful celebration of God's power and Christ as the Light of the World. There is so much information available about the history and prophetic significance of Hanukkah for Messianic believers.  If you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to keep seeking.  Many theologians believe Christ Himself celebrated Hanukkah.  (It will be referred to as the Feast of Dedication in your bible.)

So, this post is not filled with scriptural references or links to all the 'roots of Christmas/Easter' videos  and articles because I truly believe these are things you can and will seek out yourself if the Lord is stirring your heart.  All I can say is, if your heart is open and you are wanting to know the truth - start searching.  Pray.  Seek truth in your bible.  Look into the roots of traditional holidays from a historical perspective.  Look into the meaning and importance of God's Feasts and Celebrations.

I know that as you do, the Lord will move in your life just as He's done in ours.

And if you just think I'm absolutely crazy? That's okay.  Three years ago, I would have thought I was absolutely crazy too.  I have nothing but love and peace for every one of you, my brothers and sisters.


And in the words of Paul from the Letter to the Philippians:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.








Links my past posts about the Biblical Holidays:


Ideas for Embracing The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)

Ideas for Embracing a Christ-centered Hanukkah

Ideas for Embracing a Christ-centered Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

Ideas for Embracing a Christ-centered Passover (Pasach)

For Such a Time As This - Whispers for Purim (Feast of Lots)

Reflections from a Christ-centered Hanukkah

Embracing the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah)

Whispers from our First Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

Whispers for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)





Peace and love to you.





13 comments:

  1. Your posts bless me every time. You put into words things I can not express as beautifully. We have celebrated all the Feasts since we got saved in 1997. Each year I think it will be easier to talk to people about it. Each year many are offended for choices we made to follow God in the way He is leading us. Thank you for your blog. keep it up. Love and blessings to you and your family.

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  2. I appreciate you sharing your heart. We have felt a pull away from the holidays and traditions of man for a couple of years now but unsure of what we were being pulled toward. Enter, the Biblical Feasts. Two weeks before the Feast of Tabernacles, God handed us our answer as if on a silver platter. We knew He was whispering in our hearts to take a leap of faith and that He would lead us through the 8 day celebration. So, with little knowledge we prayed and were sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading and with wide eyes and opened hearts we embraced our first Biblical Feast. We are still celebrating Christmas this year but peeking into the messianic significance of Hanukkah. My kids are 5,4, and 2, when we set up the Nativity this week my 4 year old exclaimed, Mama! It looks like a Sukkah! It warmed my heart. Blessings to you and your family! ~Hannah

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  3. And your post confirms once more what God has been stirring in my heart (and my husband's) for several Christmases. And I will say this...I doubted my change of heart...believing I was being legalistic. But I know the root of Christmas and Easter, too, and it's quite shocking to know that we actually celebrate these holidays with no equivocation or understanding or their origin.

    I've written posts on my blog in the past about my concerns with Christmas...there was a stirring there. This year it isn't as strong, but it's there still. Perhaps because I've set it aside with the belief it was only me..but I'm wondering why my own fleshly self would WANT or CHOOSE to let go of what's normal and easy and FUN, right? It must be the Spirit because it goes against my very nature and comfort.

    xoxo

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    1. It can be hard to let go of things we've thought were honoring to God, and find out they are NOT honoring at all.

      I was a Christmas freak...loved everything about Christmas so much, I did it all year long! The movies, music, lights, etc.

      I will encourage you, my sister, to follow the stirring, and pray that God gives you the strength and wisdom to know what to do, and then walk in that. <3

      Peggy

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  4. Thanks for sharing <3 A couple months ago, my friend introduced me to Biblical feasts for the first time. She gave me the Feasts of Adonai book to read... it was so beautiful and truly spoke to my heart in really really beautiful ways where I saw our God and our Messiah in ways I never had before. I'm still not certain what God intends for our family in this new knowledge, but I am seeking and praying, and I thank you for sharing your journey <3

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  5. I absolutely love your humble presentation of your walk into the embracing the Lord's Feasts. Shabbat Shalom my friend and thank you for always being so humble and loving in your explanations. It is so refreshing to see!

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  6. This is something my husband and I are looking into and praying over. I am specifically looking for reliable resources for reference and for research, if you have any you can share. Thank you for these posts. They are super encouraging for someone who hasn't figured out what is the exact path for our family to take yet.

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  7. Love your post. We have been keeping the feasts too! It took us three years to switch because we wanted to be sure we were doing the right thing. We kept going back and forth and the Hoy Spirit kept tugging us in the direction of keeping the feasts and Shabbat. Keeping the Sabbath has been the biggest life changing thing in our marriage and life.

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  8. I recently got to your blog through a link posted in a Charlotte Mason FB group that I belong to. As I was browsing the links along the left, I saw this post and my heart skipped a beat! I have to admit, I haven't read the whole thing yet -- because I was just too excited and had to comment right away on how giddy I am to find someone else like us! Our family has been on this journey for the past 5-6 years, and it has been challenging, but oh-so-rewarding and of course the biggest reward is to know that we are walking in the path God has set before us, as best we can.
    I am so looking forward to reading your Feast & Festivals posts carefully. We have been celebrating them for a while, but we have not done it well, and I really want to do more to make them feel to our family like the special days that they are.

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    1. Hi Heather! Thanks for your message. :) I don't think there is a way to 'do it well' or not well... following the feasts is SO out of the box... it is very, very challenging, yes. You are right! We only know a couple real-life families that follow them and there is much push-back about it. And, let's face it Christmas and Easter are HUGE in the Christian world and almost impossible to step away from without majorly offending people, hurting feelings, and upsetting family relationships... so it has been quite the tight-rope walk, to be honest! We continue to pray and do as we feel led while balancing our family's desires and 'traditions' in a way that we feel honors God and also honors our family, if that makes sense. ;) It is quite the adventure! So rewarding, yes. So glad you found me here! xo

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  9. I found your blog in a Church of God Homeschooling group. Someone posted it excited to share, because we are all Sabbath keepers and keep all the Holy Days. I was raised this way and so was my husband. After reading one of your comments about not knowing many people who follow this way of life, I felt compelled to reach out. First of all...way to go! Completely changing your families direction after living that way of life for so long would be a serious challenge. I belong to United Church of God. They hold Sabbath Services every week around the world. They hold Holy Day services and the Feast of Tabernacles in many locations around the world. For example: We are attending the Feast of Tabernacles in Panama City beach Fl again this year. In this one location alone there will be 1200 people from all over the US. I just wanted you to know that there are thousands of us ;) If you want to look them up their website is www.ucg.org There are tons of resources on there to help you continue to forge your way through. Hope you don't mind my post, but I just couldn't sit by without letting you know that you are not alone. If I had to do it alone, like you are I would slowly die inside. Having a home has helped us to grow and change so much over the years. I love your excitement about this and how cautious you were to make sure you didn't offend anyone. Sincerely, Loreita Holladay

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    1. Oh! Thank you for your message! That is so encouraging. :) It has been a very interesting journey, and you're right - not at all any easy one. I really appreciate you taking time to reach out and encourage me. Blessings to you. I will check out the website.

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  10. You are so very welcome! I truly believe God connects people just learning all of this with others who have lived it a long time. It's our job to support each other. Feel free to look me up on Facebook and friend me. I am pretty easy to spot...lol. I am the only one of Facebook with my name spelled the way it is ;) Maybe God bless you even more!

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