As you can tell from my previous three entries concerning Celebrating Christmas, I have “nestled myself into” the appointed feasts of the Lord found in Leviticus 23. Once again, another feast, the Firstfruits Feast, (say that seven times real fast!), caught my wondering heart and mind. Listen to these words of instruction concerning this Israelite celebration:
When you enter the land which I am going to give you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord for you to be accepted. Leviticus 23:9
A sheaf is a bundle; so the priest would take a bundle of the first of the harvest, barley in this case, and lift it high into the air, all the while praising and thanking God for His provision to His people.
Listen now to this part of the first Christmas story:
And when the days for their purification were completed they (Mary and Joseph) brought Him (Jesus) up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord…and behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And when the parents bought in the child Jesus…Simeon took Him into his arms, and blessed God. Luke 2:22-28
Simeon the priest knew the instant Mary and Joseph entered the temple that they were carrying with them the long-awaited Messiah, Savior of Israel (and of the world). He humbly took their first-born Son, the fruit of her womb, and raised Him high into the air, praising and thanking God. Yes, this bundle was of another kind than the days of old. This bundle was the fullfilment of all the other wave offerings that had come before. This bundle was the final firstfruit so that we may be accepted. This bundle was the best of the best, the holy of holies, the perfect blessing–Jesus, high and lifted up, for you and for me. And now ponder all that He has given us in the Spirit:
But the fruit of His Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galations 5:22
I encourage you to bring visual reminders into your homes concerning God’s final wave offering, His own Son. Whether it’s earthy grains tied with a beautiful bow, or fresh fruit and berries sitting in a glass bowl, let these things created by Him cause you to worship Him with praise and thanksgiving. He gives and keeps giving, just like the harvest.
I love my Bundle of Blessing. And He will be high and lifted up in my heart this Christmas season.
Yes, thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! II Corinthians 9:15