How do we celebrate Shavuot? The beginners guide.
This year Shavuot takes place on the evening on the 8th of June 2019 to the evening of the 10th of June, the 5th - 7th of the 3rd Month/Sivan.
What is it all about?
This is the day that we not only celebrate the receiving of the Torah 50 days after Pesach/ Passover but it is also the day that the people gathered together ,10 days after the ascension of Yeshua, and received the Ruach HaKodesh/ Holy Spirit. The day is filled with absolute anticipation and the counting of the Omer for 49 days – 7 weeks of preparation for this appointed time – increases our awareness of the honour and privilege we have of having the Word of our Most High God given to us with such generosity!
Many have the perception that the people in the book of Acts were in the upper room at the time of Shavuot and this is where the tongues of fire rested on them but in actual fact these believers would have been assembled in the courts of the temple on this day for the Shavuot readings and services.
Acts 2:1 says that when Pentecost had come they were all together in one place – so the disciples did meet together in the upper room after the ascension of Yeshua. 10 days had passed since the ascension of Yeshua to Shavuot.
Deuteronomy 16:16 calls all men of Israel to present themselves before Adonai (at the Temple) on the day of Shavuot. We know based on the scriptures in Luke 24: 52 – 53 that the disciples met in the temple on a daily basis and this would absolutely confirm that on this holy day they would have been at the temple – no questions asked!
This means that the flood of the presence of the Ruach on Shavuot took place at the time of the morning sacrifice and prayer! Can you imagine this!
Yeshua had instructed the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Ruach HaKodesh and obediently they did – at the place where they met on these days are per their walk with the Ancient of Days. Three thousand people were there that day fully immersed in the presence of the King of Kings – an echo of the day of Mount Sinai – where the Word of YHVH came down from the high places to be given to the people of Israel.
THIS is THE day we will be welcoming into our homes and our communities this weekend!
This appointed time is so rich with meaning and revelation!
What are we commanded to do on this day?
- This day is a Sabbath - Treat this day as a Sabbath – no work is to be done so prepare in advance. This year Shavuot begins on the evening of the Sabbath, which means we will essentially have a 2-day Sabbath this year.
- Bring a wave offering of 2 loaves of leavened bread presented with 7 male lambs, 1 young bull and 1 ram. We no longer have the temple, so you and your family can have the loaves as a symbol of the offering.
- This is to be a statute forever – we need to keep, remember and honour this day forever!
Traditions for Shavuot
- Traditionally the women light the candles to usher in this day as they would do on a Shabbat
- Traditionally everyone stays up all night reading the Torah
- The 10 commandments are read as well as the book of Ruth, as King David died on Shavuot and he is a direct descendant of Ruth
- Dairy foods are eaten over these days as the Torah is referred to as nourishing milk to our souls
- Sweet smelling plants are placed in the home before Shavuot as a symbol of the harvest and the sweetness of the land and the Torah
And for us?
This is truly a time for us to stop and reflect on the beauty of our King. His sweetness over our lives, His goodness over the desert times and how His provision is new every day. This provision is not just about our physical well being but He in His incredible wisdom sent us His Word. His Word was sent to nurture our spirits which in turn would direct our steps towards physical well being and good, long life.
Each step that we take towards His ancient ways – His Olam – leads us to wholeness and His magnificence!
In essence, start some of your own traditions for this beautiful celebration with this one key ingredient in mind… at the heart of it is a focus on the Word which gives us the voice of our King in our lives each day. I myself cannot imagine one day without my manual for life!
May you be blessed beyond your expectations as you take time to celebrate the fullness of His Word over your life – Yeshua – the living water – the Word made flesh – bringing life and life in abundance over all who drink from Him.