Whispers for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

It poured rain this morning at the same time the sun was shining bright.  Our country windows were glistening tiny sparkles of cleansing rain.  She called to me from the back room, “Mama!!!  A rainbow!”

There it was, stretched across the autumn sky – the rainbow that always brings me to tears.  God’s love and promise painted in the midst of water and light.  Water and Light.  I stood and stared, snapping photos in between thoughts.

Wait a minute.  Water and Light.  Both these things Christ Jesus claimed for Himself.

He is the Light of the World.

He is the Water of Life.  The very Wellspring that feeds our thirsty souls.

And there it was right across the sky and painted on my heart, God’s promise of forever love comes when light reflects off water.  I stop and tremble at this truth and humble myself before a Heavenly Father who whispers in these unexpected ways.

Beauty fills my being as it floods me:

We need Water and Light to see God’s Love and Promises.

We need Christ Jesus to see the Truth.

And truth is what we desperately seek as worship songs flood our home today.  The ones about the manger and the baby and all the beauty of Christ coming to earth.  Some would say it’s Christmas music, but really, it’s the Saviour’s Birth Music.  And that’s what we are embracing this week – our Saviour, His birth, His light, His living water.

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!  It feels strange and beautiful to sing these words amidst colourful leaves and gourds and pumpkins.  But, this, friends, is the biblical time of Christ’s birth.  He came and He dwelt among us during the Feast of Tabernacles or, in Hebrew- Sukkot.  (Sukkot is the Hebrew word for tent or shelter.)  There is something deeply reverent about celebrating the birth of the King at the time appointed by our Lord.  My heart feels ablaze as we cozily prepare for this harvest time feast.

We walk in crisp leaves, pick sunflowers, munch roasted pumpkin seeds and paint mason jars with dripping glue.  We read truth from God’s word and have long chats about why now and not Christmas and why this and how beautiful is the revelation of God’s heart.

We snuggle up together with candlelight and sing it softly:  “Oh, night divine, when Christ was born…  And in His name, all oppression shall cease…”  if only the world who sings these words could truly feel them and understand the depth of them.

“Christ is the Lord, Oh, praise His name forever.”  We sing it, but do we mean it?

Yes, that Holy Night when Christ was born – in a stable.  In a Sukkah – the King of all Kings was born.  In these painfully simple surroundings He came to us a vulnerable babe.  This Holy God in unbearably humble rags.  This is our God, overwhelmingly Holy yet graciously humble.

The whole world shook and all the heavenly beings announced His arrival yet He exhaled that first breath in a lowly stable.

And so, together as a family, we too will create a Sukkah – a temporary shelter to celebrate this beautiful holiday and remember what He has done and is doing and will do.

As we put up walls and prepare our tent, we remember God is our shelter.

We remember the Holy King, Christ Immanuel who came and Tabernacled among us.

We remember how temporary our stay on earth truly is.  How every place we dwell is really only a temporary shelter.  All things here are to be viewed as ‘for only a little while’.  The earthly possessions pass away but God’s love endures forever.  What are we Seeking First?  His Kingdom?

We remember Christ the Living Water.

We remember Christ as the Light of the World.

We remember that with the Light and the Water we see God’s Promises and Miracles.

We remember how we too are His humble, undeserving tabernacles and He dwells in us through His Spirit.

As we paint and decorate and bake and prepare, we remember together why we call ourselves Followers of this Light and we welcome Truth into our hearts.  Even if that truth means a total change, a stepping ‘outside’ the world’s box.  Even if that truth means a whole lot of traditions need to be shaken and stirred and tested against the Word.  Because what He has for us is always better, always deeper, always richer, always worth embracing.

And He is the great Embrace, the Wonderful Shelter.  And He waits to hide us under His wings.

We excitedly anticipate and prepare 

for the start of this week-long ‘Great Feast’…

In a few days I plan, Lord willing, to share more about our journey this week with the Feast of Tabernacles and write more about what God is revealing, what we are learning, and how our hearts about being changed and renewed, only by Christ’s grace and love.  (hug)

A little note:

I am not, by any means, an expert on the Feast of Tabernacles or any other biblical feast.  My sharing here comes to you from a place of complete and total humbleness of spirit.  I write these thoughts because I believe wholeheartedly in working towards embracing a biblical worldview and being open to God’s truth as He reveals it to us.  This was the posture my husband and I took before Christ, and this is what we feel has been shown to us.  We need to really look hard at what God says about His holidays and festivals and what He says about following culture’s traditions.

And what God’s word says about His feasts (holidays) has profoundly affected me in such a wonderful way!  My desire is that through my messy expression of this excitement, you may also feel a stirring within you.  A stirring to explore God’s feasts and appointed days and see and experience how the King of the Universe has woven every aspect of history together in the most breath-taking ways.

If you would like to seek more information about Sukkot and the other biblical feasts, I’d encourage you to first pray and ask God to reveal His truth and His will to you and your family.  Then, search your bible and do some good old fashioned research.

Also, I absolutely love the resource A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays by Simpson and Pierce. It has been a huge blessing to our family as we seek to follow God in this way.

Of course, you can always chat with me on Facebook or email me at cldorman (at) sympatico (dot) ca.

I’ll check in later this week with more Sukkot updates from our home to yours!  
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me…
(from Psalm 27)


  • Mama Bee

    We were so inspired by this post when you shared it, as we were just starting the same journey with the Biblical feasts. We marked this year for Tabernacle last fall after reading this post. What a blessing. Our family is soooo excited and looking forward to celebrating Sukkot this fall. We had such a blessed Passover with Jews for Jesus this year, as well. God bless you and your family.

  • Unknown

    Bless you for sharing this! It is so encouraging to see other Christians who have come to the same realization as I have. It's a little lonely celebrating Jesus' birth during The Feast of Tabernacles, but I'm hoping that more Christians will join in, eventually. Nevertheless, I was so blessed by celebrating Jesus birth during the Feast of Tabernacles, this year for the first time, and I'm looking forward to doing it again next year. It does take a bit of a shift in thinking to decorate for Jesus' birth celebration with a fall harvest theme instead of with evergreens and snow, as well as with a focus on camping and eating in outdoor tents. I was hoping to see pictures of your tent/tabernacle/booth/stable/sukkah, but I didn't see them in your subsequent post. I will try to email you some photos of my tabernacle booth. I especially liked the insight that you received regarding the rainbow being made of water and light and how that relates to Jesus. Thanks so much for posting this!

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