These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations (meetings), which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. (Leviticus 23:4)
The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas awaits. Thanksgiving has its roots in the Mayflower and Christmas in the manger. However, if you were to walk around the streets of our social behavior, a much different story is being told. Thanksgiving is associated with the turkey, family gatherings and a day off. Christmas on the other hand, speaks of presents, decorations, traveling and oh yes friends and family. Santa has been taught to infants and adults alike. This enabling him to become a household name. So, what has happened?
The seasons talked about in the above Scriptures, refer to seven holidays or feasts; Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Harvest, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. All these feasts or holidays were lacking one very important entity, Jesus!
Beloved, should our holiday season omit the same? Should Jesus be obscured or only an image of our thoughts? What a most marvelous season to show off the greatest gift of all; eternal life in Christ Jesus! After all isn't he the reason for the season? Praise the Lord.
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I blessed thee while I live: I will lift up my hands to thy name. (Psalm 63:3 & 4)
"Thy lovingkindness is better than life." What a most powerful statement for the psalmist David to have recorded; fully knowing that you and I would be reading these Scriptures as God's word today. Paramount to say the least. David wrote this Psalm while he was in the wilderness and concluded there is something better than our life; God's lovingkindness! Not only does David confirm that he experienced its' existence, but also affirms how to navigate to its origin; praise, blessing his great name and the lifting up of hands. Can you imagine that!
You and I only have one life to live. Most valuable to say the least. This life of ours is being spent one day at a time. How quickly they add up to years and then a lifetime. However, along life's journey, a continual flow of living waters can be had. In Hebrew the word lovingkindness means favor, merciful, pity, reproof on occasion or better put In one word, Jesus!
Beloved, we have a lot to thank Father God for at this Thanksgiving Holiday, especially his lovingkindness. Praise the Lord!
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen (John 21:25)
This Scripture concludes the Gospel of John; the fourth Gospel proceeded by Matthew, Mark and Luke. How fitting to end the series of "hands on experience" of the life and ministry of Jesus. But here the conclusion is that there were many other things that Jesus did. In hopes that you or I might grasp what he is saying; the author goes on to paint this picture, "I suppose the world could not contain the books written."
Can you think of any subject matter in all your experiences that could receive this credential? The apostle John is saying here that Jesus never stopped being Jesus. All that has been written in the Gospels about him barely scratches the surface. Yet, in the Gospels, we can see this man wakened in the middle of the night to screams for help.(Mark 4:38). Exhausted, overworked, and pressed out, he is jolted with these screams of panicked men. How does Jesus respond? With anger, correction or being disorientated? His response, "peace, be still." (Mark 4:39). With their own eyes, they did see their troubles vanish!
He fed his lambs, he bathed his sheep and he opens heaven for all that seek him. He never limits your unlimited God. Praise the Lord!
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:20)
When the sun came up this morning, it was such a blessing to me. I thought, how bountiful Father God is in his goodness and love toward us. As the rays of light captured the landscape; a beautiful day was being offered to all. There was no charge for this beautiful sun that was streaming, rays of light, through the heavens. There was no strings attached. It was unencumbered with troubles. Glorious to behold! Then I realized, that my eyes which were seeing all this beauty were created by Jesus for God's glory. As I continue to embrace this moment of awe and beauty; I also realize that my intellect had been received from him.
As we prepare our hearts for praise and worship this morning, there is much much to be thankful for. The bud that produces the flower will always bring forth the fruit! "And, lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world. Praise the Lord!
Dr. Thomas Snyder