My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalms 121:2 HCSB)
This past weekend was phenomenal, but it wore me out. It was my town’s annual festival. It’s a big deal around here. There is family night Friday, a parade Saturday morning, and a race early Sunday morning.
The Boy Scout troop my son is in has a booth. They sell bread and make kettle popcorn. All boys in the troop and parents are needed to make the event successful. The more the boys work the more percentage they will get towards summer camp. And, it’s good for them. It helps them to develop a good work ethic that will carry over to when they are old enough to get a job. Plus, it’s a lot of fun. They also pass out water during the race Sunday morning. The troop is given a little bit of money for helping and we usually put it towards gas for the vehicles going to camp.
Preparations for the festival start a month ahead of time; buying ingredients and supplies, cooking bread, plus cleaning and organizing the trailer so there is room for everything to bring to the booth site. Then, on the Thursday before opening Friday we park the trailer at the site and set up. Many of us are there almost all day Saturday cooking kettle cooked popcorn. Sunday morning, we are up bright and early to help with the race.
The purpose of the festival is to celebrate the local harvest and to give local organizations and groups a chance to raise money. The weather was sunny and the temperature just right which made it perfect for people to come out and enjoy the festivities. It was the perfect time to reflect on God and his provisions.
In Exodus 23:14-19, God told the Israelites to celebrate three festivals to him; the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Harvest (also known as the festival of Weeks), and the Festival of Ingathering (also known as the Festival of Booths).
God used these festivals to help remind the Israel where their help came from and that he is the one who provided for their every need. Some scholars believe that these festivals foreshadowed God’s plan for Jesus Christ. Whatever God’s reasons, every male had to attend these festivals and bring their “first fruits.” It reminded them that God brought them out of Egypt and would always provide for them.
It’s so easy to forget to remember that. Even in the midst of the festival, I don’t think I ever thought about it, but now that I’ve made a connection between the two, I plan to put more of an effort into remembering who my provider is; God, my Heavenly Father.
Father in Heaven, I’m sorry that I didn’t think to thank you for the fruit our local farmers produced, for the festival that brings revenue to our area, and the beautiful weather that allowed us to have a great festival. I thank you now for the provisions you have provided. Help us to be wise in what we do with those provisions.