Posted in Biblical Calendar, Torah

Learning from the Mo’edim – Shavuot 2016

This post builds on the basic assumptions listed in Learning from the Mo’edim

Shavuot 2016

I dont post very much as Im so busy and honestly dont have energy and focus to sit down and write stuff out. I just happened to go back through some posts, noticed gobs of spelling errors and was correcting them, and read through last years Learning from the Mo’edim. It reminded me that I hadn’t written down things from this years Pesach or Shavuot.

I cannot recall much of Pesach. I don’t know why! I believe we had a family come over, eat some food and discuss the holiday. And we read through the Exodus together and discussed it. We have an age range of 4 to 8, and lots of interesting questions. I am always reminded of how much deeper I need to dig into these things and prepare.

Shavuot is a whole other challenge for me. 2016 had a bunch of discussions and differing opinions about timing of Pesach. Pesach (Passover) begins the calendar. There are so many ways different folks work around the start of the new year. I see the idea of barley being mature in the field as the indicator that the new year is able to start as the most simple and direct way presented in scripture so far. This is key as it starts the chain of events and dates that set the rest of the year timetable for holidays.

Once we hit Shavuot, I realized that I had made a serious mistake. We had planned a family trip to Alaska. We had to plan this way in advance, and I didnt realize that an appointed time occurred right in the middle of it. This isnt necessarily a problem.  I dont see where Shavuot is a Sabbath, but I might be confused or missing something. But by being on a trip, away from home, with my wonderful extended family who dont remotely care about this stuff threw me off. Combined with the last minute realization of it, I simply didnt give it the attention it deserved.

However, some interesting and redemptive things have occurred. Prior to the holiday, I began to really think about the classic role and reference to “the/The spirit/Spirit”. All the combinations. My background in christian culture, especially charismatic expression has resulted in a whole bunch of presuppositions and biases. There is a whole bunch of things Im unlearning, and it turns out this whole concept is under serious revision.

Oddly, I have come across lots of teaching resources about this very topic. I didnt go searching for it but I came across these resources seemingly accidentally. This has been encouraging that perhaps Im getting divinely guided.

The main ideas that seem to be working themselves out:

  1. The concept of Pentecost in christian context is related to the “giving” of “The Spirit”. This really seems to be plain wrong. There are plenty of references to the spirit of Yah being present from the creation forward. There is nothing new about the working of the Spirit of Yah in human history. What seems to be the new part is the idea of being IMMERSED, or BAPTIZED in the Spirit. I interpret this (so far in my limited understanding) as a quantitative idea. There is an intensification of the work and activity.
  2. The nature and identity of The Spirit is really changing in my mind. The best concept I have heard that seems to connect the dots of scripture for me is an interesting one. The idea of a distilled essence of something. It flies in the face of the classic trinitarian interpretation. The Spirit not being a “person” as much as the deep, distilled essence of Yehovah. This also resonates with a previous mental wrestling match.
  3. Yeshua now seems to embody the Spirit with skin. It is more and more to me that Yeshua IS the Salvation of Yahweh. The Strong Right Arm. And the practical mechanics to me is a picture of the distilled essence of Yah ut into a body with skin. Even the literal teaching of Yeshua brings the distilled essence of Torah to reality. The Sermon on the Mount, where Yeshua talks about the idea of not just murdering someone, but not hating them. The revealing of the distilled essence of the commandments comes out of the mouth of Yeshua, and Yeshua expects disciples who choose to submit to this same Spirit.

Im still in the weeds with these ideas. It is always a trap to listen to someone teach something, and then run with it. Im looking to take the ideas presented and then study and prove it with scripture. The next step is how to practically respond and adapt to the idea. What is Yah expecting of me? How do I agree with this and engage it?