The Spirit of UnityOctober 2, 2023 - 12:00 am
Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. — Zechariah 14:16
Throughout this week, my family and I will join Jews around the world in celebrating Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. Please enjoy these devotions, which were prepared for you in advance, about this joyous holiday that immediately follows the High Holy Days.
The holiday of Sukkot, the Festival of Tabernacles, is a favourite among Jewish children. One of the highlights for me growing up—and now for my own children—is the custom of going “sukkah hopping” on the first day of the holiday. This tradition has every family in the neighbourhood set out some treats on a table in their sukkah, the temporary huts that we inhabit during Sukkot. Then groups of friends go from sukkah to sukkah to visit each family and enjoy their treats.
As you can see, Sukkot is a holiday of togetherness. It is a time to enjoy friends and family and also to connect with new people. In the spirit of unity, we host many guests in our sukkah and visit many others in their sukkah as well.
According to Jewish law, a sukkah must have at least two-and-a-half walls, but preferably, four. It cannot be taller than twenty cubits high. However, there are no restrictions regarding the width of a sukkah. In theory, a sukkah could be wide enough to contain every single person in the world!
The Spirit of Unity
This law reflects the spirit of inclusivity that has always characterized Sukkot. In messianic times, we will witness this spirit of unity as all nations gather in Jerusalem, specifically on this holiday. As the prophet Zechariah described, “Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.” The prophet is talking about none other than Sukkot!
While we are not yet in messianic times, I feel the spirit of the messianic era every day as Christians and Jews come together through the work of IFCJ Canada in order to serve God’s purposes. I see the blessings that result when we are united. And now, as we celebrate Sukkot, I pray that we come together as never before for the sake of our shared values and godly principles.
Sukkot is a time to celebrate unity even as we honour our differences. As the psalmist wrote, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). When we are united, we bring glory to God’s kingdom and blessings upon us all.
Your turn: In the spirit of unity, reach out to someone different from you with friendship and kindness.