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Maranatha!

CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE

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Summerís End  

    As soon as the crisp, cool fall air kicks in I get revived. I love this time of year. How was your summer? I have fewer real teeth but much less pain so I am grateful. In the cycle we know as the church year, the long haul is almost over. In a short time we will be celebrating the Advent season and the whole cycle begins again. In Leviticus 23 the feasts of Israel encompassed their year. The early church used the life of Jesus as the model. Itís clear God has made us a people of seasons. Having just passed the Day of Atonement and continued through the Feast of Tabernacles, our Jewish friends were once again reminded of their roots. As a matter of fact, when Messiah comes this time of year will remain a time of celebration.  

    In Zechariah we read:                                         

14:16It will happen that everyone who is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of Armies, and to keep the feast of tents. 14:17It will be, that whoever of all the families of the earth doesn't go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of Armies, on them there will be no rain. 14:18If the family of Egypt doesn't go up, and doesn't come, neither will it rain on them. This will be the plague with which Yahweh will strike the nations that don't go up to keep the feast of tents. 14:19This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations that don't go up to keep the feast of tents. 14:20In that day there will be on the bells of the horses, "HOLY TO YAHWEH;" and the pots in Yahweh's house will be like the bowls before the altar. 14:21Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to Yahweh of Armies; and all those who sacrifice will come and take of them, and cook in them. In that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of Armies.  

The prophetic clock is ticking and Israel is Godís timepiece. This could be the beginning the time of Christís return. The Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah occurs before the all important Day of Atonement.  

Many believe when the Messiah comes His return will happen during this Feast of Trumpets! Rapture?? Only God knows but how exciting to know the best is yet to come. The winters have been unusually warm on the east coast. Global warming? But you never know when a severe one will hit us again. The Bible likens the change of seasons to our earthly sojourn.  

8:20The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 8:21For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt: I mourn; dismay has taken hold on me. 8:22Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? why then isn't the health of the daughter of my people recovered?  Jeremiah 8:20-22

 Missed opportunities and wasted time are the bane of any child of God. The seasons provide the necessary life force for all the earth. Birth, death and rebirth are all around us and serve as reminders that time is short. As I am sure you realize, the older we get the faster time seems to fly.

Donít waste the next season. The fall usually begins with a nice reviving atmosphere.

 (Stay tuned for Part 2)