It has been called “the season of our joy.” It is a time when the Father calls us out of the world to remind us of what was and what will be. We look backward to when the Father dwelt with Israel in the wilderness; we rest in Messiah, our Immanuel; and we look forward to a time when YHWH will dwell with His children forever. It is a time appointed by the Father, a time that he refers to as MY feast, a time that we call “the feast of tabernacles,” “the feast of booths,” or “Sukkot.” And this year, in the fall of 2022, is our first time to celebrate.
The leaves were beginning to turn on the top of Monte Sano Mountain in North Alabama. The drive up was stunning, a short, tree-lined switchback leading up to blue skies and crisp, clear air. Even though we were less than an hour from home, the anticipation in the car was high, and Teri, the girls, and I knew that we were in for a few special days. We stepped out of the truck on Friday, to help set up for Sunday, and were immediately met with smiles, hugs, and a sense of peace that made us even more excited.
I don’t think I can adequately describe the feeling. As time passed and the crowds grew, I kept expecting awkwardness—that uncomfortable passage of time getting to know people that usually makes me want to hide. It never showed up! With each addition to the campground, with each new smile, fist bump, or sincere hug, I came to a stunning, amazing, miraculous realization: there were no strangers here! This was not a random group of people coming together for an event. These were family members that I knew, that I have spoken with, that I have studied the Bible with; these were my brothers and sisters who I love but had simply never met, coming together under the direction of the Father, looking forward to being with Him.
It feels right in a way that words cannot express. In our house this year, we began the season with the Trumpets of Yom Teruah, sought forgiveness, reconciliation, and growth on Yom Kippur, and walked away from the world to spend time with the Father on Sukkot. We unplugged our lives for a while to study Scripture together, to love each other, and to gather with like-minded believers determined, in all things, to bring glory and honor to the Father and His Messiah. Even as I sit here writing, with light beginning to break through the trees of our temporary home, I can feel His peace and His pleasure at our decision. We could have been anywhere during the girls’ fall break from school, but this year we chose to chase the Father’s heart. We chose to follow after Him, and every moment and breath has been worth it.
My advice (which is worth exactly what you paid for it) is this: when the Father extends an invitation to celebrate with Him, accept it! Open that gift, chase His heart, and see how quickly you find yourself in His presence. Celebrate with a group, your family, or in your backyard alone with the God of Creation! It is more than worth your time to meet Him during His!