Helpful Tidbits for the Disciple's Life                                                                             August 16, 2010

The Sanctification of Time
My Reflections
The Banqueting Table
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The Feasts of the Lord: Part 1
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Check out this link outlining the Hebrew wedding. See if you can tell how the moeds relate.
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"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole [duty] of man."
 King Solomon
Ecclesiastes 12:13

bride with flowers
When our first house churches formed we had a monthly gathering where all the churches could come together and worship. After a year or so, we stopped the gathering because only a small percentage of our people participated. At the time I wondered, Why isn't this working? While there are many answers to that question, one answer seems to rise above the rest: the gathering lacked a clear purpose. Years later, however, we've discovered an exceedingly important reason to come together - one that's even commanded by God.

QUESTION/TOPIC IN FOCUS: Observing or celebrating God's appointed times (in Hebrew, moedim) as a meaningful and biblical reason to bring house churches together
The Sanctification of Time
Excerpted from an open letter to our house churches by Sharon Shoemaker
The Feast of Trumpets begins at sundown, September 10 (Karaite calendar)
A place, a time, and a life can be sanctified or made holy by Yahweh. The place, Jerusalem and the Holy Temple, is not currently under consideration. The concept of an individual's life being sanctified is generally not a matter of controversy. While we blithely offer Yahweh our lives, however, for many of us the concept of Him sanctifying time, and thus being Lord and Master of our time, is something resisted. We tend to want to control what we think of as our time ourselves. If we will relinquish that "right," Yahweh has a special promise for us.
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken (Isaiah 58:13, 14).
The Sabbath is the first moed listed in Leviticus 23. The Feasts of Yahweh, which are also Sabbaths, are the others. What are the moeds (moedim)? They are "set or appointed times" Leviticus 23, they are scheduled meetings between God and people. These times, however, are set aside by Yahweh, not us. This stands in stark contrast to this world that says everything is the same, a concept that leads to nothing making a difference which, in turn, leads to you being able to do whatever you want. Yahweh's times point to difference. One day is not the same as another. These times call out or proclaim holiness. Among other themes, the Fall moeds or "Feasts" specifically point to the gathering of the bride: the wedding and the wedding feast with the bridegroom, the Lamb, the King, Yeshua (Jesus).
My Reflections 
Important date!Sometimes things weird me out until I understand it in terms that make sense to me. While I've understood biblically the importance of God's appointed times (moedim), it wasn't until recently that God cemented their significance in my heart. Our conversation when something like this...
God: Traver, I'm ready to share with you why my appointed times are so important.
Me: Lord, I'm listening.
God: Is your wedding anniversary important to you, Traver? How about the day you and Aimee first met? Is that day special to you? Or, are these dates like all the rest?
Me: Lord, my anniversary dates are exceedingly important to me! They are not like the rest. Next to you, Aimee means more to me than anything.
God: Good, I knew you would say that. Now, what if Aimee had no regard for your anniversary dates? What if she didn't even know the day? Or worse, what if she wanted to celebrate your anniversary dates on other dates altogether...those she celebrated with a previous boyfriend?
By this time in the conversation, I was crushed. Now, later in the conversation...
God: Traver, now what if you wanted nothing more than to date Aimee weekly - a special time to remind Aimee just how much you love her. To talk. To reminisce. These are my Sabbaths. And then, imagine her saying, We don't really need to date. After all, we're together all the time.
Me: Lord, I didn't know. I'm so sorry.
God: I know, Traver. I know you didn't understand. Now, as the bridegroom, the husband, will you let me take the role of spiritual leader? Will you meet with me on my terms on anniversary dates I set out before the foundation of the world?
While I can't express the total force of the conversation in such a short space, there's enough here for you to get the idea. As a result of this conversation, one thing is certain - I never want to miss another anniversary with the King of kings, my first love.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty (bio)
The Banqueting Table