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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

7 Fruitful Ways to Prepare for the Fall Feasts

Living a Biblically Jewish life seems so very natural, so centered in Messiah, while always anticipating the next miracle of His grace.

As summer winds down, and the lunar month of Elul begins, we anticipate the arrival of our Messiah. It is no mistake that women look to the fall like a horse in the starting gate, ready to race to the joy of the fruitfulness of harvest time. Trees become aflame with color and we start picking up a few extra treats to prepare in advance for baking our family favorites for the holidays. And, these days, there are so many different holiday decorations between now and the end of the year that celebrating Messiah’s birth is almost eclipsed by Halloween! But, have you noticed how “Thanksgiving decorations” have become popular? I think they are awesome! Why? Because the first Thanksgiving in America was modeled after the Jewish Fall Holidays.

The Key to Understanding the Feasts

Thankfulness to God – for His abundant grace and mercy – is always a good idea. But, the key to understanding the Feasts of the Bible is that there are only two seasons: Seedtime and Harvest. The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles are all celebrated in succession as the beginning of the “Harvest.” The Harvest is not just a natural thing, it’s a supernatural thing. Why? Because Messiah is looking for His beloved and the Father is waiting for His children to become one glorious family.

Here are some of my favorite ways to begin preparing for the Fall Biblical Feasts.

1. Remember the King! Yeshua is near, open your senses to the season. Begin decorating your house with fruitfulness. The simplest way is to put actual fruit and fall flowers everywhere. Buy a new seasoned bread you never tried before, like cranberry nut loaf or a caraway seed bagel or a cheese you never had the guts to try, like honey goat cheese or havarti with dill. Just stop getting the “same old thing,” and living life on auto-pilot. Let God awaken your taste buds, being hungry for Him will follow soon after – supernaturally.

2. Warm your heart with thankfulness. Your Heavenly Father wants you to enjoy your life and this is the season to show Him how thankful you are for your health, your relationships, your gifts, your home, your job and your LIFE in Messiah. Take time to read the Psalms of David back to Him in praise. Write your favorite seven Bible verses of thanksgiving and use one every day for a week just to encourage someone else. Thankfulness changes your lens and, with a little tenacity on your part, can change the atmosphere around you. You are the message of His goodness to you.

3. Be prudent with resources. Money is not a thing that can be counted on, it comes and goes like a river when you live a bountiful life. A little saving here and there, like making coffee at home and not buying more food at the grocery store than needed, can help you regain financial ground long term, and help you feel great about being gracious when truly prompted by the Holy Spirit. A wise woman once told me, “If you watch your dimes, He’ll take care of your dollars.” It’s kind of corny, but true none-the-less. Listen for God’s instruction to learn to be wise with “spending,” because hidden costs in life also include: physical energy, mental exhaustion, love equity, good health, and lifestyle choices.

4. Be generous with your attention. The best investment is in people, not things. Time is the most precious resource we have. And, we all have exactly the same amount to spend – only 24 hours in a day. God did not intend you to live your life frazzled. Harvest season is for time with God, time to rest, time to be refreshed. Carefully consider what you would do to “be a blessing” to the people you love most – BECAUSE you know what it feels like to be loved by God and you want to share His love with others. Practically speaking, stop wasting your time with draining people due to false obligation. Focus on spending time with people who enjoy God’s Presence with you, even if they don’t formally recognize Him quite yet. There was a sweet older woman in the Jewish bookstore in my hometown who would show me how to celebrate Shabbat with cookbooks. Around the holidays, I always made extra time in my busy day to visit her and enjoy learning more about God.

5. Be intentionally creative in gift-giving. Ask God what gift He has given you to bless others this season. (Try not to start a new hobby to show off – that will distract you.) This is about remembering who and how God created you to be generous like Him. Write a poem, print off a Bible Scripture typography, share a favorite song to their phone, sing a song lyric that brings back a shared memory, or take the time to bake something – even store bought cookie dough – for a busy mom that you know eats fast food more often than she would like, just because everyone is so unbelievably busy these days. Harvest your God-given creativity and enjoy who He created you to be.

6. Study Leviticus 23 to recognize the pattern. Women in the Bible knew how to celebrate life in God’s Presence. They knew the tempo of life can be reset at these Holy Day times for the good of their families. Preparing for these fall feasts includes these three distinct themes: Fullness, Forgiveness and Thankfulness. Beginning with Rosh Hashana “The Head of the Year,” also known as Feast of Trumpets is NOT the beginning of the Biblical year. The Harvest season is the fullness of the year past, and “Judgement Day” for the world to come. Think of it this way. When things “come to a head” it means they are reaching the culmination, the fullness of time – much like the fullness of the moon. The moon is never empty, is it? Instead, we are entering the season of harvesting all that we have seeded into since the Spring. Can you remember what seed YOU planted six months ago?

7. Consider “the end of a matter.” Think about what chapters of your life need to close, gently. Jewish Scripture readers worldwide are almost done with reading the weekly Torah cycle from Genesis to Deuteronomy. They are preparing to return to Genesis after the Feast of Tabernacles is over. Jewish mothers tell their children: “What is life if not for challenges – that fill its days? Seek ADONAI.” The end of a matter is better than the beginning of a matter. Take a few moments to rewind your year and consider what lessons you have learned, so you can let go and move on. Don’t let the change in seasons keep you so busy that you unknowingly set yourself up for another year of striving and chaos. God gave you a beautiful life, filled with divine purpose. Trust ADONAI and keep your agenda as close to His as possible. Happiness is found in following His path for you. He is the best Father and Shepherd and Comforter there is. Every day is a gift! •

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