The Festival of Trumpets sounds like a grand ol’ time! The Day of Atonement not so much maybe, but it’s only one day. The rest of the festivals in this chapter are huge events, the Day of Atonement being a one-day celebration with an official holy assembly called, and the Festival of Shelters being a week-long celebration for the entire Israelite community. Notice these festivals were to be celebrated in early Autumn (v. 1), which reminded me of what I used to call “Fall Festival Season” in the newspaper biz. You see, when you’re a reporter covering events for an entire county, which is usually the case in community newspapers (regional and state newspapers go wider, but even then, reporters are generally assigned to cover one county or one region or aspect of a city), you try your darndest to cover special events in each community. During Fall Festival Season, though, things can get harry, particularly around the beginning of school when every town in the county is planning a homecoming game. This consists of a week’s worth of activities before the Friday night football game, and you can bet that there will be a parade involved. When my kids were little, this was an awesome way to earn mom trophies, but as they got older and didn’t want to go to every parade in the county anymore, Fall Festival Season felt a bit more tedious than joyful. That doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy a good festival. It just means I much more enjoy just attending a good festival, possibly even camera-less, with no pressure of getting every single name of float winners, candy-grabbers and band directors.
But even homecomings aren’t all fun and games. They were established for a reason. They stand for a time when class members can come “home,” catch up with family and friends and remember classmates and school mates who are no longer with us. The same was true for the Israelite festivals. They were grand events, meant for celebrating God’s relationship with the Israelites, humbled by sacrifices that united God with His people. If during the year, some Israelites kind of drifted off and forgot what God had done for them, these festivals were meant to bring those reminders back into the light.
Writing prompt: go without food
Verse 7 stood out for me today because I’m seeing a lot of debate in the U.S. on mask-wearing. I say “debate,” but what I really see is division. It seems some feel that by having government mandates to wear masks, their freedoms are being violated. I wonder how the Israelites felt about not getting to eat for a day? Write your thoughts about either.