Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Festivals

The Biblical Fall Festivals begin with Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) or literally "Day of Shouting." It is the only Biblical holiday that begins on the first day of the month which is marked by the sighting of the new moon. To celebrate we had a salmon barbeque down by the lake and we danced and blew the shofar.

We ate lots of good food!
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is 10 days after Yom Teruah and is a day of fasting and reflection; asking God to show you how you can be more pleasing to Him. In the evening about a half hour before the Day of Atonement was to begin, I let the kids know they only had a half hour to finish eating for the next 24 hours. My remark caused a stampede on the kitchen... The kids did great fasting. I even got them to quiet down and spend some time in prayer and reflection. Once Sarah came out of the pantry with a few crackers (we let her slide since she's only two). She took Benjamin (4 years old) with her and talked him into eating a couple too. Although I didn't get after Benjamin either, he had a guilty look on his face and he decided on his own not to snitch any more.

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) starts five days after Yom Kippur and lasts seven days with a sabbath rest day on the 8th day. The command is for all native Israelites to spend the week in booths to remind them of how God brought them out of Egypt. As ingrafted Israelites we want to remember too, so we celebrate Sukkot. We started building a green house this year and we thought that would make a terrific Sukkah (booth). So Paul tried to get a few moments here and there to finish it off.

He got the roof on and we spent the first night under the stars in our Sukkah. It was the first night the stars had been out for some time and it got cold. It was 27 degrees Fahrenheit by morning.
Sarah slept between Paul and I so I could make sure she stayed warm. I guess she did because at one point she did the "I'm riding a bicycle thing" in her sleep and knocked all our covers off. I think it was about then that Paul asked if I couldn't put her on my other side so he could sleep just a little (she tends to kick). Around four o'clock Benjamin started crying so I climbed over several kids to get to him and make sure he wasn't freezing to death. When I got there everything was all wet. Somebody forgot to make sure he had on the diaper he wears at night and rarely needs unless we forget! So, I took Benjamin along with Sarah into the house. After I got Benjamin cleaned up, I told him to climb in our bed with Sarah and he started crying again because he wanted to go back out and sleep in the Sukkah. I convinced him that it was almost morning and we could just take a little nap. An hour later pounding on the stairs woke me up. Apparently Paul's teeth had started chattering uncontrollably. I guess he really missed all that body heat I took inside with me. Paul said, "lets go inside" and everyone responded immediately so I guess no one was sleeping very deeply. We all took a nice nap for a few more hours. For the rest of Sukkot the kids moved the Sukkah to different locations. One night it was the basement the next night it was the living room. Although the kids would have been up for it, we didn't try sleeping outside again. Paul wants to go all out next year and put up a wall tent with a stove.
The night after we slept out, Lavonne and Josh decided to sleep out in their tent pictured below. They made a Sukkah in the trees by the creek, but they decided to put their tent right under the window of their apartment. They took their phone out with them and Josh called me several times before 11 pm. At about 11 pm though, he called with an obvious amount of urgency in his voice. He said, "Susan, there's a bear out here. I'm not kidding." I told him okay and hung up and related to Paul what he said. He gave me a look of disbelief, but I told him Josh wasn't kidding. So he hurried out with all of the older kids at a safe distance behind him. They looked around and didn't see anything so they gave Josh a hard time for seeing things and headed back to the house. As they crossed the road, they saw three figures by the neighbor's garbage bin. Upon closer observation they recognized a mama bear and her two big cubs. They all took off running for the house and the bears took off running up the hill. This summer is the first time we've seen bears in the village in the seven years we've been living here. There have been around seven sightings this summer in the village.
The Martin's built their Sukka behind the apartments, overlooking the lake. We took advantage of a beautiful day to do some impromptu worship, singing and dancing.

We weren't out there too long before the musicians fell into the shadow of the apartments. It is incredible what a difference that made on the temperature. We would have played a lot longer if we could have felt our fingers...Paul, Quentin, Joshua and Josh A. were across the lake and up the river, cutting and floating logs down the when we decided to have our impromptu concert. As they slowly made their way back across the lake, towing a flotilla of logs behind them, they could hear us singing and see the flags waving.

Below David Martin is helping the rest of the boys make a manger to remind us of baby Jesus' birth. Everyone agrees that Jesus wasn't born on Dec. 25th and based on Luke's Gospel account, 1 Chronicles 24 and other historical records, many people agree that Jesus was probably born during Sukkot. If you Google "When was Jesus born," you can find many articles that go into great detail describing how you can figure out that Jesus was born during the time of Sukkot.

Sarah put her doll in the manger to represent baby Jesus.
p.s. We woke up to snow yesterday morning for the first time this year.

1 comment:

Lyndy said...

Hi Susan!

Glad to find you online, you have a great blog. We have 2 girls recovering from fevers and sore throats, hope yours have escaped the crud. I look forward to seeing you at the next MFR, but let us know when you're in Anchorage, we are sometimes there too!