Every country organises festivals & celebrations, but not always ones that focus on God. Some festivals are quite the opposite of what God thinks is good.
In the Bible, we can see how God asked Moses to set-up 7 periods of celebration for the Israelites, the Lord’s Festivals.
Each of them was designed to help everyone, old or young, to remember that it was He, the all-powerful God, who is the source of all life.
– In the first part of the Bible, the Old Testament, we read how Solomon – one of King David’s sons – became king after David and built God’s Temple (House) in Jerusalem. When all the work was finished, there was a huge celebration.
The whole of Israel – the Elders, the chiefs of each tribe, the heads of each family – was there. Solomon prayed and fire from Heaven burnt up the sacrifices on the altar.
The Glory of God filled the temple and everyone bowed down to praise and worship the Lord.
After the days of celebration, the people went home full of joy and happy they had seen the Lord among them, and that He had blessed them.
– Several years passed and Josiah became king at the age of eight. He was king for 31 years in Jerusalem. At a very young age, he already wanted to please God and when he was 26, he started to repair the Temple. During the building works, the workers found the Book of the Law. It was a great joy that also brought great fear, because the people realised that they had not been keeping God’s commandments (rules).
So, for the Passover festival (Pessah in Hebrew), which was to remind the people that God had freed them from slavery in Egypt, Josiah invited everyone in Israel to get together.
He had a platform built from which he read God’s book, then he prayed and encouraged the people to faithfully follow God’s commandments.
They offered tens of thousands of Passover sacrifices to God and then distributed the meat for everyone to eat. The celebrations went on for 7 days.
– In the New Testament, another celebration is very important: the feast of Pentecost, just after harvest time.
Following Jesus’ resurrection, and after He had gone back to Heaven, everybody had come together in Jerusalem.
Suddenly, a strong wind filled the house where Jesus’ friends were staying, and flames of fire appeared above each of them, … but without burning them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and started to speak in new languages that the Spirit had given to them.
It was the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise, “You will receive the Holy Spirit and you will be my witnesses all over the world. ” You can read about it in the book of Acts, chapters 1 and 2.
God’s celebrations fill us with His joy, His peace and His Spirit.