The festival calendar of the Old Testament Jews is listed here and it is impressive…
Weekly Sabbath – do no work in order to honor God.
Festival of Unleavened Bread, beginning with the Passover – remember your redemption from Egypt
Festival of Firstfruits – all you have is given by God, so honor Him by giving Him the first portion of your grain harvest
Festival of Weeks – celebrate the wheat harvest and remember the day God gave the law on Mt. Sinai
Festival of Trumpets – thank God for the harvest just completed
Day of Atonement – the celebration of repentance and forgiveness of sins
Festival of Tabernacles – remember your redemption from Egypt and the desert wanderings when you lived in tents
Seven major festivals to be celebrated throughout each year. This averages out to one festival every other month, and then the Sabbath every week. And these festivals were no small matter. Three times every year, all native-born Jewish men were to travel to Jerusalem to the Temple for the festival. Not all did, but all were expected to. With travel as difficult and dangerous as it was in the first days of the Jewish people, this was no small command. And every festival celebrated and commemorated God.
What would our Major Festival Calendar look like today?
Sunday worship – a day each week to gather for an hour or two and praise God
Festival of Advent – 24 days of decorating and preparation, remembering Jesus’ birth
Christmas – a day of celebration with special foods and decorations, commemorating the birth of the Messiah
Ash Wednesday – a day of repentance for our sins
Lent – a 40 day season of repentance and fasting, remembering Jesus 40-day fast in the wilderness
Good Friday – 2 days before Resurrection Day, commemorating Jesus’ crucifixion
Resurrection Day (Easter) – a day to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection
Pentecost – a day to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit
Is God pleased with our current festival calendar? Are there others we should celebrate? Should we take them more seriously? Are they fulfilling their purpose of celebration and remembering?