Keeping the feasts is such a delight.
We have the opportunity to teach our children the wonders of our Creator. We can show them the mighty works that He has done. We point the way to the future when He will bring us home to Israel.
But somewhere along the way, the wonder has been lost.
In our desire to obey, we have begun to analyze every detail. We question the contents of the seder plate. We scrutinize the wording in the hagaddah. We calculate the correct day to celebrate. We worry about the appropriate meat to serve. We ascertain the correct time to start the day.
We run back and forth between opinions and teachers. We discuss and question and fret and worry. We take sides and bicker and look for opportunities to prove our case. We associate with those that agree with us. We put down those that do not.
In our pursuit of absolute truth, we got lost. We have run amuck and we haven’t seen that our tires are spinning in mud.
Where is the wonder?
Why were we keeping the feasts in the first place?
Was it not to teach our children about the awesomeness of the God we serve?
Were we not to use the feasts to show them the way?
Have we done that, or have we shown them our way?
It is important to make sure we are obeying. It is important to make sure we are eliminating pagan influences. We should not get sloppy in our efforts to keep Torah.
But we must also remember that we are still learning everything. We are not a united people living in the land. Our priority must always be to teach Torah to our children.
I know I don’t keep the feasts perfectly. I don’t know how. Please don’t come to me looking for answers to specifics. I feel that the more I learn, the more I realize I still don’t know. My heart’s desire is to do it right. But until I know how to celebrate perfectly, I will continue with what I do know. I will make every effort to teach my children the ways of Torah. I want them to see that our Elohim is a God of love, forgiveness, kindness, and patience.
17 ADONAI your God is right there with you, as a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you and be glad, he will be silent in his love, he will shout over you with joy.” 18 “I will gather those of yours who grieve over the appointed feasts and bear the burden of reproach [because they cannot keep them]. 19 When that time comes, I will deal with all those who oppress you. I will save her who is lame, gather her who was driven away, and make them whose shame spread over the earth the object of praise and renown. 20 When that time comes, I will bring you in; when that time comes, I will gather you and make you the object of fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth – when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says ADONAI. Zephaniah 3:17-20
YHVH knows we cannot keep the feasts perfectly. He knows we will get some of the details wrong. He knows that some of us will not even be allowed to keep the feasts. But that does not seem to be His concern. He is looking for those that grieve when they are prevented from keeping the feasts. He looks for hearts that long for freedom to obey. He looks for those with wonder and awe in their eyes. He looks for the children among us who trust and obey the best they can, even when they don’t know or understand everything.
YHVH help us to teach our children about you. I pray that we would not waste any time over details, but would use every moment, every feast, to pass your truths on to the next generation. We long for the day when You will deliver us and show us the right way. Until then, please accept our humble efforts and forgive us when we fail.