A reading for Friday, February 7, 2014: John 7:1-13

The Festival of Booths is also known as the Festival of Sukkot (sue-COAT). It is the last of three pilgrimage festivals, first comes Passover and then Shavu'ot. It is both historical and agricultural.  The festival commemorates the wandering of the Israelites through the desert for 40 years, but also is a harvest festival or festival of ingathering.

During the Festival of Booths, small family shelters are built for each family and meals are eaten inside those crude shelters to help remember the days when such shelters were all the people of God had as they wandered the desert without a home. However, because it is harvest time the food eaten there is often quite abundant and elaborate to also celebrate how God has delivered the people from those days of wandering.  The transition is from one of the most solemn holidays to one of the most joyous.  In fact, another name for the Festival of Sukkot is "the season of our rejoicing."

In the lesson for today, Jesus did not want to celebrate the Festival of Booths with the disciples. Jesus said, "...for my time has not yet fully come." It was not yet time for rejoicing since there was much more that needed to happen before Jesus would be raised into glory and all would be rejoicing. It was not yet time.

The good news for us today as we read such a story is the reality that while it was not yet time in those days, it is time for our rejoicing today. Jesus has been raised.  God raised Jesus from the dead to prove that Jesus was who he said he was. He is our Savior. All the disciples, you and I, are able now to celebrate with Jesus in the "season of our rejoicing."

TGIF.  Thank God It's Friday!  Celebrate today the season of our rejoicing, since in Christ we are saved.  Thanks be to God.


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