Deuteronomy 16:12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt; carefully watch these prescriptions.
Deuteronomy 16:13 “You are to celebrate the Festival of Huts1 for seven days when you have gathered in everything from your threshing floor and winepress.
Deuteronomy 16:14 Enjoy yourselves at your festival – you, your son and daughter, your male and female slave, as well as the Levite, the guest, the fatherless, and the widow within your city gates.
Deuteronomy 16:15 You are to hold a seven-day festival for Yahveh your God in the place he chooses, because Yahveh your God will empower you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, and you will certainly have joy.
Moses told the Israelites that they would certainly have joy. They would have numerous reasons to celebrate, but if they are not careful to keep the command to celebrate, it would be possible to overlook all of those reasons.
Our Christian life is also going to give us numerous reasons for celebration. But it will also be full of reasons for anxiety and stress which could steal that joy if we let it. Part of being faithful to God is remembering to celebrate regularly in spite of whatever the enemy is throwing at us.
The festival of Huts was a reminder of the long stretch of years during which the Israelites were stuck in the limbo of temporary existence. But God told them to celebrate that festival at the end of the harvest season. It was to accentuate the contrast between those decades of lack, and the years of plenty. But it was a reminder that even during those decades of lack, they really lacked nothing, because their Shepherd was leading them to green pastures.
Christian, are you in the land of plenty now, or are you still in the stretch limbo? Don’t let your fears about your current situation keep you from celebrating regularly with the rest of the congregation.
Good Shepherd, thank you for leading us out of the place of waiting and into the place of celebrating.