As I write this article, the Feast of Tabernacles opening night is approaching quickly. As you read this, it may be just a few days away or perhaps it has already begun. The question I would like to ask is this: Will your personal life at the Feast of Tabernacles reflect the Kingdom of God?
For eight days each year, we practice living together under God’s government in a special way. Herbert W. Armstrong said, “God expects us to set an example for others.” That example is Jesus Christ living His life in you.
In our lives, we should exhibit the fruits of a totally changed and converted life (Galatians 5:22-23). We need to strive for this every day of the year. But let’s consider some ways to practice living these fruits specifically at God’s Feast of Tabernacles.
The Feast is a time to express love and joy.
Always be willing to serve (Galatians 5:13). Love is outgoing concern. There are many ways to achieve this at God’s Feast. You can let someone into the line ahead of yourself for a meal or at an activity. You can share your second tithe by taking someone less fortunate out for a meal. You can help with transportation.
You can also follow announcements closely. And don’t underestimate the little things you can do to express God’s love at the Feast: picking up after yourself, handing in your hymnal after the closing prayer, wiping the restroom wash basin after you wash your hands. Keeping your surroundings neat and clean brings joy to other brethren.
Also, take special care with your manners and acts of courtesy. “Thank you” goes a long way, especially when you add a smile!
Romans 14:17 says, “For the Kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Revised Authorized Version). Happiness is infectious. At this Feast, we have the opportunity to spread that joy to everyone we see—not just God’s people, but hotel and restaurant staff as well.
The Feast is also a time to practice peace and patience.
Our lives should reflect that in every way; we must grow in these areas. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165). Peace implies total trust in God and a total commitment to His ways. “[T]o be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). This means that we must leave the world behind and live our lives to that peace. We have eight days to draw closer to God and practice being spiritually minded.
Our attitudes and actions should reflect Christ in each of us. Our fellowship is a vital aspect of God’s Feast. He has brought His Family together for eight days to experience a foretaste of the Kingdom of God. It is a foretaste of living as God’s Family. God has gone to a great deal of expense and effort to bring us to His Feast.
Consider the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Remember the first is love (agape) that produces the other fruits of God’s Holy Spirit. Before, during and after the Feast, meditate on how we can better apply these qualities in our lives.
If you truly seek to exercise these fruits of God’s Holy Spirit—these attitudes of a giving way of life—then you truly will grow in reflecting Christ living in you.
Finally, keep in mind every day why we are attending God’s Feasts and what we are commanded to do. We attend the Feast of Tabernacles to “learn to fear the Lord thy God always” (Deuteronomy 14:23). We are commanded to eat (physically and spiritually) before God and to rejoice—you and your family! (verse 26).
Remember, these are not idle words of God! You shall eat, learn, fear and rejoice. God has planned and prepared everything for each of His children as we attend His Feast with Him. What will you reflect? These surely are things to think upon.