By Summer A. Mansell
Celebrating biblical holidays has become a way of life for one local congregation. Beit Tehila of Brandon, a community of believers which welcomes both Jews and non-Jews, has been celebrating the Feast Days for over 20 years. This fall, however, a new theme will be presented: The Ingathering.
According to Pastor Nick Plummer, “Jesus (Yeshua) fulfilled the spring feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost). He will fulfill the fall feasts.”
Celebrating the feasts is, for Beit Tehila, a way of coming together, preparing and rehearsing for the coming events of Jesus’ return. The feast days follow the redemptive story of God from Genesis to Revelation.
From the beginning, the feasts days were set as appointments with the Creator to be observed by His people. They were not given to one race of mankind but were declared as belonging to the Lord (Leviticus 23:37-38). Larissa Zepeda, a member of the dance ministry at Beit Tehila added, “The fall feasts are special because they are a foreshadow of what is to come and give us the chance to see ‘the big picture.’ Through them, we are able to see a glimpse of the Lord’s heart and His desire to dwell with and regather a people.”
With this in mind, the congregation prepares in a unique way in an effort to be aligned with God’s calendar. Dance, music and media teams unite to prepare the congregation for the coming events. At Beit Tehila, an excitement unique to the fall season is already in the air as congregants await the special opportunities to worship and express their faith.
Zepeda explained, “My favorite fall feast is definitely the Feasts of Tabernacles, simply because of the celebration. It’s a time where we come together to worship, dance, sing, eat and fellowship as a community. We really get a chance to see all of our preparation come together for a big finale.”
Beit Tehlia welcomes the community to participate. This year, the first fall feast day, Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) will be celebrated Monday, September 14 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, September 19 at 11 a.m. This feast day is the announcement of the new year as well as the rehearsal of the Messiah’s second coming which is marked by the blowing of a Shofar (ram’s horn).
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) service will be held Tuesday, September 22 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, September 26 at 11 a.m. Yom Kippur is a solemn feast day in which the congregation corporately unites in prayer and repentance. It is a rehearsal of the final day of judgment.
Finally, Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) will take place Monday, September 28 at 7 p.m., Wednesday September 30 at 7 p.m., Saturday, October 3 at 11 a.m. and Monday, October 5 at 7 p.m. The feast of Sukkot, marks a joyful rehearsal of the great ingathering, and the wedding between Messiah and His people.
Plummer concluded, “The fall feasts are not only meaningful, but life-changing events that we can personally experience with each other. People want to celebrate something and we have the opportunity to do so. We get to party with God. He loves to celebrate.”
Beit Tehila is located at 1705 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon. For more information, visit www.topraise.net or call 654-2222.