He brought me to the banquet house
and his banner over me is love.
--Song of Songs 2:4
and his banner over me is love.
--Song of Songs 2:4
Passover has `pass`-ed, but one thing I am learning about the celebration and observance of the Kingdom feasts, they are not `over`. Rather, the days that we observe on the Kingdom calendar make up an ongoing cycle and each one brings us closer and closer to learning about the heart of our Creator. Each one seems to roll open an opening to the next. That is what the counting of the omer seemed like this year. Counting the omer is not a feast, but rather it is the days between one feast, Passover, and the next, Shavuot. As part of my `diary` of this first year of studying Torah and the biblical Feasts and observances, I will just share a little of what I am learning!
Well, first of all what I am learning in this year of celebrating the Kingdom feasts, is how much we learn about His heart of Love when we enter into each appointed day. What happens next, is the counting of the Omer which started during the first days of Passover. It is my first year of counting the days of the omer.
Today is the 12th day, that is, one week and five days in the omer.
Then you are to count from the morrow after the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the omer of the wave offering, seven complete Shabbatot. Until the morrow after the seventh Shabbat you are to count fifty days, and then present a new grain offering to ADONAI. ---Leviticus 23:15
This period marks the beginning of the barley harvest when, in biblical times, the Children of Israel would bring the first sheaves to the Temple as a means of thanking God for the harvest. The word omer literally means “sheaf” and refers to these early offerings. ---paraphrased definition
All G-d`s feasts are expressions of His perfect plan. As we count the days from Passover to the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, we remember the continuity from what transpired long ago with our ancestors at Passover and continue to mark the days through this counting and blessing. We experience that same anticipation when counting them today. The omer is counted in the evenings. The 49 days also correspond to the days just after Yeshua`s death and resurrection to the receiving of the Holy Spirit by His disciples. They extend into each other, and we learn more about the Spring Feasts, of what is in His Heart, and draw closer to Him.
In terms of our observance of these days, we can see how all preparation and the `clearing` that we did at Passover continue in the counting of the Omer as we desire to be more and more `clean`, and holy as in anticipation of receiving His Torah.
For I am ADONAI your God. Therefore, sanctify yourselves, and be holy, for I am holy.
Before I received Salvation in Yeshua, I never thought of holiness.
I also never thought of sin. I had no concept of either. I lived my life having no idea how deep I was in sin, from the smallest behaviors and thoughts to the outright obvious ones. The first time I read in Scripture, `Be holy as I am holy`, I couldn`t imagine it. Me, holy? The two didn`t go together. But amazing as it is true, He has taken our sin as the Passover Lamb, and through His blood we receive atonement. This is what the Resurrection and the Passover are about, the deliverance and redemption and atonement that we experience in the freedom of the Exodus and ultimately in Yeshua. In Him, we become new, and only through Him can we begin to see that we can be holy as He is holy. Not only can we, but we must! It goes together with obedience, and the first Commandment to Love the Lord thy G-d with all our hearts and all our souls and all our strength.
We begin to see His commandments as wonderful, joy-filled, delight-full.
Oh, how I love your Torah! ---Psalm 119:97
Oh, speaking of delight-full I know you are curious about the sakura rolls in the post title!
When the Passover ended and we were able to eat `hametz` again, i.e. bread and things with leaven,
I wasn`t sure what to eat. Somehow to go back to leaven seemed like ...uggh! I was feeling so clean and leaven-free. To eat something with leaven just didn`t seem so desirable, and so I asked the L-rd to show me to the right moment to break the fast, so it wouldn`t just be any old leaven, but something that would keep the meaning of the fast and be a good transition....
And guess what He brought to the banquet table! Well, yes! I gave it away in the title!
Cherry blossom rolls! note: Sakura = Cherry Blossoms
After my Passover week of rolling in the delight of the Cherry Blossoms and their connection with birth and death and Resurrection (see Passover posts below!), He brought me to the banquet table and served a basket of all you can eat Cherry Blossom Rolls!!
I couldn`t have made it up myself, it was that perfect! Simple and subtle, tinged with pink... fluffy and full of essence of the Holy Spirit who knows our hearts and leads us to taste in His goodness...
Thank you Father for the way your Feasts nourish us. Thank You for the blessings that you bestow upon us when we are obedient to your commands, and the loving ways in which you reveal your Love and your Holy Spirit. Father, I continue to pray that someone reading this will desire to know You more and know the life changing power of the Resurrection power of Yeshua, and moving from a life on the `world`s` calendar to living on Your Kingdom calendar.
Please continue to bring us closer to you and make our hearts cleaner in anticipation of the day of Shavuot, also known as Pentecost. May we be humble as we rejoice and delight in your Torah and the giving of the Ruach Kodesh, the Holy Spirit.
Blessings and Shalom!
A few links:For further reading on the Counting of the Omer: Here (Hebrew4Christians ) and Here (Chabad)
An excellent post on the same topic on a friend`s blog Here
For a highly recommended book about the Kingdom Calendar and observing the Feasts of ADONAI, this book was transformational for me: Touching the Heart of God, by by Paul Wilbur
A sweet song taken from You Tube, enjoy ! His Banner over me is Love