Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bread Crumbs Under the Red Bridge...

Just the sweetest experience this Monday. Want to share it with I blogged it to share it more completely. :))

Crumbs Under the Red Bridge ~ this could be used as a teaching resource for family devotions/activity (we are enjoying

 learning about BIBLICAL FEASTS)

OR just ENJOY the story in the middle of the piece about an afternoon family day at theTucker's house!!!! ♥

There still is much time to enjoy the family activity suggested here to experience the feast of Trumpets.  the next days are what is called, the "Days of Awe" on the Biblical Calendar.  Until the 26th of September in fact, when the feasting turns to fasting on the "Day of Atonement".  Many days left for celebrating forgiveness from sin in Jesus and repentance from our wrong ways/sin.  Why not pick out a couple of the activities below?  You would not have to have a feast or bake bread...just the field trip could be super precious tied to a family picnic one evening in the next weeks.  I believe any of these scriptures, ideas, celebrations will bring great JOY in your midst.

I have MISSED you, bloggy world!  This post isn't pretty or poetic :) written more to save up a really special way to focus on God as a family.  Blessings to you!

Shana Tova, !  I am sharing a moment in time this week that we hope will be a blessing in the future to other families too.  i am trying to capture this as a resource for a very special family devotion.
This is mostly taken from a wonderful resource that came to my inbox on Monday from Bibles for Israel's Messianic Newsletter, on the celebration of “Feast of Trumpets."
What is Feast of Trumpets?? You may ask?  Well, we did too! ...and this is what we found out with delight....

  We are pressing in to learn and experience more of the Biblical Feasts that God said in Leviticus we would be celebrating into eternity.  He states that these are times of visitation.  We have been doing other studying on Trumpets but I found this to be a very complete resource.  This became a curriculum of sorts for our celebration night.
We set a festive feast table.  And for the first time made Challah bread—YUM! And a feast meal. ;)  we lit candles and prayed blessing over the children and sang “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” (the Levitical blessing from Numbers)
We taught every one “Shana Tova” and we practiced saying, “Happy New Year” in another way… we basically went through this teaching with breaks for hands on (see bold, large print below for what we did as a family) and even a field trip in the middle of the night!!
What we found was, like the times we have celebrated other Biblical feasts, like Passover, there is great Joy and Peace in these times of focusing our hearts on God and His Kingdom story.  We found much celebration over His forgiveness of sin, as well as awe over what He has forgiven in us.  Oh to be His Children!  To sit at His table as adopted children!!  There is MUCH JOY in the Father’s house… 
            Happy Jewish New Year - 5773!
“Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts.  Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the Lord.’” (Leviticus 23: 23-25)

Jewish man sounding the shofar on Rosh Hashanah at the Western
(Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem.
Today is Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year), one of the holiest days of the Jewish year.
No work is allowed on this day, and all over Israel and around the world, the Jewish People are attending services in the synagogue.
This celebration, which began last night at sunset and ends tomorrow evening, is also known as the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah).

We celebrated on September 16, 2012.  At this point after reading the passage above and saying Happy New Year to one another we read this:

last night, as the holiday began, the shofar (ram’s horn or trumpet) was sounded around 100 times, and it will continue to be sounded throughout this holiday season.

Honey and apple, foods traditionally served at Rosh HaShanah, symbolize
the desire for a sweet new year.

First and Second Day Customs

We dipped in Challah bread into honey.  I love the description below of the reason for this.  And we all really resonated with it.  My kiddos LOVED the beautiful bread and they were asked to reserve a medium-sized piece for an up-coming activity.

Next, we passed around a tray of apple slices and a pretty, clear container full of honey that Ava had squeezed for us. J  Each of us served another by holding the tray of apples so that the other family member could dip their apples.  Apples are a symbol of providence and Honey that we would have sweetness and not sorrow in this next Biblical year. As mama, I blessed each child as they dipped in their apples, “Jack, may you know the sweetness of your Father in this next year.”  “Bruik, may God show you how well He loves and cares for every one of your needs.”….The children also blessed one another.
This holiday is a feast; therefore, it's customary for families to gather on the first night of Rosh Hashanah for a holiday meal that begins with the blessing over a round challah (egg bread) which is dipped in honey.
The challah is round to represent completeness, the continuity of creation and the omnipresence of God.
Right afterward, apple slices are dipped in honey.  This simple tradition conveys the hope that the coming year will be sweet and free of sorrow.

We next announced we were going on a field trip! Of course the response was, HUH? And YAY!!!  But before we left we had something very important to do.  We read about Tashlich below and then we each pick up a piece of bread.
Today, a special ceremony called Tashlich (casting off) is performed.  This ritual involves reciting Micah 7: 18-19 and other verses as sin is symbolically cast off and carried away by tossing bits of bread or other food into a body of water, such as a stream, river, lake, pond or sea.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?  You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7: 18 – 19)

Rabbi performing Tashlich on the Israeli
coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

With the bread in our hands we were instructed a bit more on the symbol of yeast or leaven in bread—that it stands for sin in the Bible.  And that symbolically, we were now holding our “sin” from the year in our hands.  We had the family quietly separate into quiet, private areas in the room and speak to Holy Spirit about our sin.  We had spoken about how repentance is a “turning from” the things we do against God.  That only through the power of Jesus’ sacrifice could our sins be separated from us/”cast off” for ever. But now was a time for confession of sin against God and thanksgiving for forgiveness in Jesus.  We quietly, deeply repented for a time and then asked the children to come quietly to the car with their bread in their hands.  We happen to have a river nearby that runs under a red bridge.  We drove to this place, talking about how awkward it felt to keep holding on to sin.  That sin is a burden we need to let Jesus take from us.  They were about ready to pop out of the car after our couple minute drive and they skipped and twirled and ran all the way to the bridge—we all felt this powerful anticipation of the “letting go” we were about to hurl into the water!!  After not being able to get quite close enough to the water on this bridge, we broke the rules and went over a wall and leaned out dangerously J over the water.  As the biggers held on to our littles we took turns casting bits of bread into the water.  Each piece was a sin, was a wrong way or attitude, was a turning from a wrong direction….And the JOY and FREEDOM built and built as the bread became less and less in our hands.  Some of us named sin out loud…some of us silently…and then we got to the thank yous!  It was quite spontaneous worship.  And these were proclamations and then shouts.  “Thank you for forgiveness!!”  Thank you that I am CLEAN!!”  “I belong to you!” One of the olders was very contemplative and as the bread was thrown from the hand said, "YES!" and threw it away with great force.  the youngers were just as connected in to the time and aware of sin that they were "throwing away for God to remove".

  And we watched our little bits of bread, 

so many bits,

 float down the river,

 under the bridge and away…

Ashley then jumped up and suggested a cheer, ‘How about, “JESUS!!!”? and we all shouted, “JESUS”!!!  At the top of our lungs and with all of our heart.  It was GLORIOUS!!  We ran around, all weaving together and apart, catching each others' hands and twirling and dancing and leaping over “hurdles”.  The kids were in this great joy as they climbed on little walls and landscaping elements and hugged and leaned on one another as we all crazy marched back to the car with as much freshness of heart as there was chill in the wonderful Fall air.

As the sun goes down tonight, and the second night of Rosh Hashanah begins, many will observe the tradition of serving a fruit that has just come into season.
We would have opened a pomegranate as we arrived home and had little boys count up the seeds for fun…tradition has it that there could be 613 seeds inside, the number of laws in the Torah.  But the grocery store did not have them in, earlier in the day--SOooooo we ate grapes instead!!  Before turning to eat our feast dinner....

This fruit is often the pomegranate since it comes into season in Israel around this time.
According to Jewish tradition, the pomegranate has 613 seeds, which is the same number of mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah.  A special blessing called the Shehechiyanu is recited before eating the fruit:
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.  Amen.

We next read the Shofar description below and listened to the links here:
4 different trumpet blasts:

High quality shofar –worshipful—sounds like a kings coronation:

Zora Levitt—History from the Temple wall: 

The Shofar
“On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest [Shabbaton], a sacred assembly [mikreh kodesh] commemorated with trumpet blasts [Zikron Teruah].” (Leviticus 23:24)
In Leviticus 23:24, Rosh HaShanah is called Shabbaton Zikaron Teruah, which is translated as a special Sabbath holiday of remembrance with the blasting of the shofar.
That is why a central observance of this holy day is the sounding of the shofar, whichheralds God as King of the Universe, as can be seen when He came to the Israelites in dense cloud at Mount Sinai.
There in His presence, on the morning of the third day, three months after they left Egypt, amidst booming thunder and flashes of lightning, the shofar was sounded.
We can only imagine the intensity of the scene.  It was so intense “that all the people who were in the camp trembled.”  (Exodus 19:16)
Who blew the shofar from that thick cloud on Mount Sinai with all the people of Israel gathered below?  Was it an angel of the Lord or did Elohim—God Himself—blow the shofar?

A Jewish man blows the long shofar, which is fashioned from the horn of a
greater kudu in the Yemenite Jewish style, at the Western (Wailing) Wall.
The shofar is an instrument of great spiritual significance.
The purpose of the sound of the shofar is to wake God’s people out of their spiritual slumber, to cause them to see the signs of the times, and to remind them to examine the spiritual condition of their lives.
This is the message of teshuvah (repentance), which in Hebrew literally means‘to return.’  Teshuvah, therefore, is turning from our sins and returning to God.
So, why do we blow the shofar on Yom Zikaron Teruah?  We know it’s a commandment, but the reasons are not specifically stated.
"On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.  It is a day for you to sound the trumpets [Yom Teruah]."  (Numbers 29:1)

Occasions to Blow the Shofar
In Israel, the shofar was blown for several reasons:
1.          To mark the arrival of a new moon;
2.          To celebrate a simcha (joyous occasion);
3.          To proclaim liberty to the captives;
4.          To hail a king at his coronation;
5.          To warn of impending judgment;
6.          To gather troops to battle;
7.          To sound an alarm;
8.          To call a sacred assembly and time of fasting;
9.          To confuse the enemy camp; and
10.      To draw God’s attention.
Several of these purposes are demonstrated in the prophecies of Joel.
Sounding the Shofar as an Alarm
“Blow the trumpet (shofar) in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord comes, for it is close at hand; a day of darkness and gloominess...  (Joel 2:1-2)
“Tear your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord, your God; for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and relents from sending calamity.” (Joel 2:1-2, 13)

Sounding the Shofar to call an Assembly
“Blow the trumpet [shofar] in Zion!  Sanctify a fast.  Call a solemn assembly.” (Joel 2:15)

Men reading Torah at the Bialystoker Synagogue

The Shofar of Mercy: the Binding Isaac
“Abraham said, ‘God will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.’”(Genesis 22:8)
Since the shofar is a ram’s horn, it may be understood to represent God’s mercy as demonstrated in the Book of Genesis when God spared the life of Isaac.
In obedience to God’s command, Abraham had prepared to offer up his son on the altar as a sacrifice; however, true to Abraham’s faith, God stayed his hand and provided a ram caught in the thicket for the sacrifice (Genesis 22).
Isn’t that an awesome description of the origin of the shofar?
We next said the blessing that was said in Jewish homes and congregations on the day,
“May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life!” and we used each person’s name as we said it to one anther—it was powerful to be connected to how much we love that our names are inscribed in the Lamb’s book of life through, Yeshua (Jesus) and what a tragedy it would be if that were not the case.
Although we blow the ram's horn (shofar) to remind us of this example of God’s mercy, God has further revealed His mercy through Yeshua (Jesus).
He did not spare the life of His only son, Yeshua, but gave it up for us in order that our names may be written in the Book of Life (Romans 8:32).
With this in mind, it is therefore, entirely fitting that we, along with the entire household of Israel, greet one another at this season with the traditional blessing: May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life!
"Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:27, see also Revelation 3: 5, Exodus 32:32, Psalm 139:16)The Torah passage will be  read at Rosh HaShanah, with the pertinent
section, Leviticus 23:23-26, in sharpest focus.
Then we Sounded the Trumpets!!!  We listened to these amazing examples of the shofar and the four different calls that are blown.  We closed our eyes…and experienced…and then shared pictures and impressions from our heart…This was a worshipful time, full of sweet fellowship.
4 different trumpet blasts:

High quality shofar –worshipful—sounds like a kings coronation:

Zora Levitt—History from the Temple wall:

The Shofar in Warfare
“So the people shouted, and the priests blew the trumpets [shofarot].  It happened, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet [shofar], that the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” (Joshua 6:20)
The Bible contains many references to the shofar being used in battle; for instance, in the Book of Joshua, we read that Joshua and his Israelite army took the enemy city of Jericho with the sounding of the shofarot (plural of shofar).
In another example found in the Book of Judges, Gideon and his small band of men blew their shofarot and gained a victory over the Midianites (Judges 7:19-25).
“When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.”  (Judges 7:22)

The Taking of Jericho, by James Jacques Joseph Tissot

How does this relate to us, as people of the God of Israel today?
God’s promise in the Book of Numbers to deliver His people when they blow the shofar in battle is still applicable:
When you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets (shofarot) Then you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.”(Numbers 10:9)
Today, the shofar is being re-discovered as the powerful instrument of spiritual warfare.
For that reason it’s being blown, not only in Jewish synagogues during the High Holy Days, but also in Messianic Jewish Congregations and Christian Churches all over the world as a declaration of spiritual warfare.

Believers sometimes sound the shofar as a declaration of spiritual warfare.
The Shofar of Impending Judgment
In chapter eight of the Book of Revelation, judgment begins with the blast of the shofar and the earth is struck with plagues reminiscent of the ones in Egypt:
“The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth.  A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”  (Revelation 8:7)
But the blasts of the shofar will also herald the return of Yeshua (Jesus) and the resurrection of the dead.  Yeshua the Messiah will return with a shout and the shofar call of God.

“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the shofar call of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first.”  (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
In First Corinthians, the resurrection of the dead in Messiah is also connected with the last shofar blast:
“Behold, I tell you a mystery.  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet [shofar].  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.”  (1Corinthians 15:51-52)

The seventh and final shofar that we read about in the Book of Revelation
will sound when Yeshua returns, hailing him as King Messiah.

The Shofar Hailing King Messiah
“The seventh angel sounded, and great voices in heaven followed, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Messiah.  He will reign forever and ever!’”  (Revelation 11:15)
The eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation reveals that Yeshua (Jesus) will be hailed as King with the sounding of the seventh and final shofar.
As the time for the sounding of that seventh shofar draws ever nearer, we ask that you help us to sound the shofar of liberty to captive Israel and proclaim King Messiah Yeshua to the Jewish People.
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain!  Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord comes, for it is close at hand.” (Joel 2:1)

What an incredible night of blessing!! Shana Tova from all the Tuckers!!!!

1 comment:

Lori said...

Hi Gillian, just wanted to let you know how much i appreciate your witness and your family's testimony! I'm still reading--altho I hadn't checked in several wks. My own family has had some major stressors over the past year or so. Just know you are an encouragement to me! Hugs, Lori