HONORING OUR HEBRAIC ROOTS
Just as we acknowledge our natural heritage, culture and ancestry to ascertain a greater understanding of identity, we also acknowledge our spiritual heritage to identify more deeply with our faith. Aware that Christianity has Jewish roots that stem back to God’s covenant with Abraham, we observe and celebrate that Hebraic (Jewish) lineage. We realize that Jesus was Hebrew man who grew up in a Jewish home and observed Jewish customs, and the more we grasp His lifestyle and heritage, the more we can appreciate our place in the family of God. Each year we demonstrate our appreciation by celebrating the feasts (or festivals) of the Lord, which are annual convocations that God instituted to remind believers of His faithfulness and of their faith heritage. We observe these feasts for three reasons:
- The Lord commands us to do so (Leviticus 23).
- Jesus observed the feasts, and because He is our model, we do the same. We honor what He honors.
- Celebrating the feasts deepens our faith and our understanding of the inheritance that began with Israel and was extended to believers through Jesus Christ.
The feasts of the Lord include: Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, Pentecost, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles. A brief overview of each festival can be found below.
- PASSOVER - Passover celebrates Israel's preparation for deliverance from Egypt and emphasizes liberty and redemption. It also points toward Jesus Christ as our Passover Lamb (Lev. 23:5-8; Lk. 2:41; Jn. 5:1).
- THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD - Observed during Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the celebration through which God reminds us of Israel's swift deliverance from Egypt (Lev. 23:6-8).
- THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS - Firstfruits takes place just after Passover begins, and it inaugurates the harvest season (Lev. 23:9-14; Deut. 16:9-17).
- PENTECOST - Also known as the Festival of Weeks, the Feast of the Harvest or Shavuot, Pentecost is the celebration that occurs 50 days after Passover. It is also the day that Holy Spirit empowered the disciples and initiated the birth of the New Testament church (Lev. 23:15-21; Acts 2:1-4).
- ROSH HASHANAH - Also known as the Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah is a joyous celebration of the Jewish New Year (Lev. 23:23-25).
- YOM KIPPUR - Commonly referred to as The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the highest holy day on the Jewish calendar. It is a time of repentance, fasting, prayer and giving (Lev. 23:26-32).
- THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES - Also known as Sukkot or the Feast of Booths, the Feast of Tabernacles commemorates the presence and glory of God with Israel in the wilderness and highlights His ongoing faithfulness and provision (Lev. 23:33-44).