By Rhoda Klein Miller
Most would say its origins are part of North American frontier Christianity in the early 19th century, when week-long gatherings were hosted for preaching the Gospel, congregational worship and community fellowship. Families from rural homesteads and villages would travel to join this ‘spiritual feast’ and reunite with friends from the surrounding region. These annual summertime events led to the development of church owned retreats and campgrounds.
The BC Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has held camp meetings for decades, drawing thousands of guests, some who travel for days to attend. Due to Covid-19 concerns, this summer’s camp meeting program will be online. If you want more than a virtual experience, please join us for small picnic gatherings and watch parties at OAC by registering here.
The Bible records a similar event observed by the Jews. Sukkot, translated in English as the Feast of Tabernacles (tents) or Festival of Shelters is defined in Leviticus 23:42. It was a yearly reminder how God led and provided for the Israelites while they lived in tents in the Sinai wilderness. God also placed a prophetic message within this appointed holiday.
Zachariah 14:16 offers a clue as we see the Feast of Tabernacles celebrated in God’s future kingdom when all nations gather to worship Him. John 1:14 says Jesus became flesh to (tabernacle) live among us and Revelation 21:3-4 tells us how He will return to reunite us, provide for us and reside with us forever. Sukkot, goes by another name, “The Season of Our Joy.” May you experience that joy when our hearts unite to praise the One who provides and is present regardless of where we wander. We have security and hope that can not be found in any structure or system built by human hands!
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