Sunday night, at sundown, begins the Feast of Shavuot (weeks, also called Pentecost by Christians). I thought some readers might appreciate a few tips for the holiday…
Shavuot is coming Sunday night at sundown.
In addition to reading Torah on the Sabbath this weekend (Numbers 4:21 – 7:89), let me suggest you also prepare for Shavuot with these steps:
1. Buy what you need to decorate the family table with flowers.
2. Buy supplies to make homemade bread Sunday afternoon for Sunday dinner.
3. Sunday night just before sundown, light candles as you would for Shabbat.
4. In addition to the regular candle prayer, recite the Shehekhiyanu.
5. Eat a festive meal Sunday night.
6. Read Exodus 19-20 and Acts 2:1-13 as a family after dinner.
Shavuot is about the giving of the Commandments at Sinai (which happened on or very near Shavuot). It is also about the giving of the Spirit, which came upon the followers of Yeshua in Acts 2. There are parallels between Mt. Sinai and Acts 2:
-God chose Israel as his people at Sinai. Likewise, God chose the followers of Yeshua to be an extension of his people in Acts 2.
-Mt. Sinai was accompanied by signs of thunder and fire on the mountain. The Acts 2 event was accompanied by a great wind and fire on the heads of Yeshua’s followers.
-The Commandments were given to Israel as a sign of God’s covenant with his people. The Spirit was given to Yeshua’s followers as a sign, a seal, and an empowerment.
The giving of the Spirit is a sign of God’s choosing the followers of Yeshua to join his people. The giving of the Spirit is a seal, attesting to God’s ownership of each follower of Yeshua. The giving of the Spirit is an empowerment, subtly changing our desires without removing our free will. Finally, the giving of the Spirit is a potential empowerment for more, as God can at any time use any of Yeshua’s followers in a miraculous way.
Shavuot is the Torah and the Spirit. As Paul said, God chose the followers of Yeshua “in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).