Crystal Writes A Blog

A place to read what Crystal writes

Failure to Lunch


Seder Plate by Flickr User Dara Skolnick, CC License = Attribution, No Derivative Works

Seder Plate by Flickr User Dara Skolnick, CC License = Attribution, No Derivative Works
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

In many areas of my life, I’m a totally disorganized person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like organization. I like knowing that our local Christian writer’s group always meets on the 2nd Saturday of the month. I like knowing that the free country music concert night for Christian Country Cowboy Church is always the last Friday of the month. Most of the time, those certainties make it easier to join my fellow writer and Christian friends for some enjoyable fellowship. I like to meet with smaller groups of friends as well for things like lunch at a local restaurant, but I’ve also been known to totally forget a lunch date because I don’t have a repetitive certainty to keep it in my mind.

In today’s reading from Numbers 9:1 through Numbers 9:14, God talks to Moses about the people’s celebration of Passover, Pesach in Hebrew. Since we celebrated Passover early last month, I talked a little about it during my posts at that time. It is a holy celebration created for the purpose of learning to observe God’s teachings and not forget all He has done for His people. There are a lot of observations that make up the retelling of God’s deliverance of Israel, including the seder meal. The image above is of a beautiful seder plate with some of the food items visible, including the horseradish with beet juice that represents the bitter herb called maror in Hebrew.

The portion today talks of following all the observances for this feast on the fourteenth day of the first month, beginning at dusk. God tells Moses that the people are to observe it according to all the regulations and rules. Those regulations and rules include being clean in order to celebrate, so the reading talks of those who were made unclean by a corpse and therefore would be unable to observe the Passover.

God tells Moses that for those who are unclean, and for those who were away on a trip during Passover, that they can celebrate their Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month instead. He tells them that even though they are not celebrating at the regular time, they are still to observe it by keeping all the regulations and rules. He also tells them to keep it with the use of matzah and bitter herbs. I’m not sure if this means they are supposed to keep the entire week of unleavened bread that follows on the heels of Passover, or if it is because that feast is passed that God is telling them to make sure to use unleavened bread with their Passover meal.

I realize through this teaching that God does not want anyone to miss out, and He does not want anyone to fail–even at having dinner (or lunch). He likes organization, so He set up these feasts on specific days (which vary on our Christian calendar) to make sure people would be more likely to keep them. But because He knows our form, He knows that things happen, like a death in the family, that can change everything, so He created an option for those who could not stick to the original way of doing things.

But the reading says a couple of interesting things about the option that God created. First, as I mentioned, it says to keep it all the same regulations and rules. That means that when God gives us a break on something, He doesn’t expect us to come back and try to make up for our failure with a half-hearted effort. We should be grateful for the chance to have a “do-over” and put our best effort in play to show our appreciation.

The next thing God says about using an option to observing things exactly as He arranged them is that if a person is clean and in town, they are required to celebrate the feast on the actual feast day. To me, this says that if we can, we are required to keep our behaviors lined up with God’s will. His mercy is not an excuse to slack in our efforts to walk according to His word. We don’t get to just say something like, “Hey, I don’t feel like doing Passover this month, so I’ll do mine with those who observe it next month.”

If we fail to lunch (or celebrate Passover dinner, or observe any holy day or feast or law) at the appropriate time, we have mercy through the blood of Yeshua. We can be forgiven if we forget to meet for lunch with a friend, and we can be forgiven if we forget to light our Sabbath candles until well after sunset, but just because we can be forgiven doesn’t mean we should make habits out of these things. If we don’t at least feel conviction, how can we honestly repent?

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May 26, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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