Feast of Tabernacles 2016 . . .
Sunday Evening, October 16 - Monday, October 24
This was the last question His disciples asked Yeshua before He was taken to Heaven. Why? Because the restoration of the kingdom was in the forefront of their minds - as it was with the prophets of old and with Yeshua Himself -
". . . seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
What is the Kingdom of God? What will we be doing? Where will we be? Why is it so important that Yeshua made the Kingdom of God His first petition in the "model prayer"? These and many other questions are the theme of this year's Season of Our Joy!
The Feast of Tabernacles in one of the "pilgrimage" festivals listed in Leviticus 23 in the Judeo - Christian Bible. Besides 'Feast of Tabernacles', the festival goes by a number of other names: Feast of Booths, Sukkot (Hebrew for 'booths'), Feast of the Nations, and of course The Season of Our Joy!
This festival looks back at the forty year period of time when the Israelites lived in the wilderness of Sinai. During that time the Hebrew people were isolated from the rest of the world in an almost "millennial" setting. They could see the Presence of God dwelling in their midst. He covered them daily with His cloud, and at night He warmed them with His fiery presence. During their 40 year "wilderness experience" their needs were taken care of, neither their shoes nor their clothes wore out, and they were judged righteously in accordance to God's Torah by Moses and the judges.
The Feast of Tabernacles also looks forward to the 1000 year Messianic Kingdom when Yeshua will be dwelling in, and ruling from Jerusalem. It will be a time when all the nations learn of the great things that happen when people follow the ways of the God of Israel. As a consequence, shalom (peace) will spread out from the Great City and will eventually encompass the whole world.
A Wilderness Experience: God's people are called to observe all of His festivals - Passover, Pentecost, and of course - the Feast of Tabernacles; but during the fall festival of Sukkot, we are also instructed to dwell in "booths". Dwelling in booths - little huts that are nothing more than temporary shelters - reminds us that like Abraham, we are "sojourners" in this world; and so for this 8 day period we are to separate ourselves from that world. The Feast of Tabernacles is to be our yearly "wilderness experience" where we can commune with God and each other in as much of a "millennial" setting as possible. In a sense, it's our opportunity to "go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob . . ." so that He can "teach us His ways" whereby we can better ". . . walk in his paths". (Isaiah 2:3)
It's apparent that YHVH (Yahwey - the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) has begun to do a great work. For nearly 2000 years, Messianic ( Christian ) believers have considered the Torah and the associated festivals to be "strange things" (Hosea 8:12), but for the past 100 or so years - and especially since 1996, Christians all around the world have "awakened" to the "Hebrewness" of the scriptures - including the New Testament. As a result, observance of the festivals, especially the Feast of Tabernacles, has soared, and Hebraic, Messianic, and Torah-Christian "feast sites" have sprung up all over our country and around the world.
Our Vision: Season of Our Joy sprung up out of that awakening and because of the founders' desire to observe the festival differently than what they had done for many years before. Their vision was to spend 8-days engrossed in the praise and worship of the God of Israel; in open and uninhibited study of His word; and in wholesome fellowship with His people - doing it all in an environment that's structured, orderly, and free from the stresses and temptations of the worldly society in which we often find ourselves. Since 1999, we at Season of Our Joy have worked toward that vision . . . and though we know we will never fully achieve it until Yeshua returns, we push on.
Share It with Us: We've secured a somewhat "out of the way" location in the heart of Missouri (see map link on right) to spend the festival. If you share our vision and would like to be our guests, we encourage you to consider observing the fall Festival of Sukkot with us. Our "Hebrew Roots" feast site is not a seminar, but rather an "experience". We consider it a "training ground" for the people of God. For eight days we praise and worship YHVH through song and dance, we hear gifted speakers who teach us the ways and walk of our Father and His Son - Messiah Yeshua, and through hearty fellowship, we learn the meaning of this very special time of year referred to by the ancient Jewish sages as "the Season of Our JOY".
Since Yeshua observed the Feast of Tabernacles within the context of the 1st century Jewish culture and tradition, we throw in a little of those traditions ourselves, including our rendition of the "Beit haShuava" (the Water Pouring Ceremony and the Festival of Lights) - Temple services that Yeshua probably participated in as He observed the festival in Jerusalem along with His family, friends, and disciples.
Evenings are packed with activities for the whole family, including a Hamburger Cookout, a Fun Show, various midrashim, Hebraic Dance Classes for adults, teens, and children (including classes for beginners), and the opportunity to browse the Marketplace (what we've historically called the "Resource Room".
Family Oriented Festival Site: God's festivals should be family oriented, so we've incorporate in the mix of activities special classes for children and teens, as well as other activities designed for them - even children's Hebraic dance classes! Our festival site, the Windermere Youth Camp, is safe and perfectly suited for children! It's located in central Missouri on the southern end of Lake of the Ozarks at the end of a long private road. Because of it's location, as well as the fact that there is virtually no traffic (almost everyone walks between activities), it's quite safe for children with bicycles.
If you "buy in" to our vision and would like to observe the Feast of Tabernacles with us, please visit the rest of our web site to make sure Season of Our Joy is right for you. If so, we'd love to hear from you!
On Campus Housing at Windermere
Call - (800) 346-2215
SOOJ Dance Videos!
Participate in the Dance that is a part
of every SOOJ praise and worship service. See videos of the
praise dances that will be a part of this year's festival. Each
dance is shown just as it will be done at the festival.
Dance Step notes are available as well! Click Here