TODAY’S SPECIAL: Leviticus 23:1-8

TO CHEW ON: "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.' ” Leviticus 23:2

What do you do on special days? Match the holiday with an activity that may happen then:

God also gave the Israelites special days to celebrate. They were called feasts. In some ways they were a lot like our holidays. The Israelites were to take the day off work and they often ate special food.

But these feasts were also different. Most of our celebrations are only a day or a weekend long. Some of the Israelites' feasts lasted a whole week or longer. And while our celebrations are often all about us – what gifts we’ll get, what we’ll eat, how much fun we’ll have – the Israelites’ holidays helped them focus on God.

Some of them, like the Passover, helped them remember how God had helped in the past. Others, like the Feast of First fruits, were times they gave God the first things they harvested. This reminded them that they depended on God now. In fact, every one of their holidays had something to do with God and their friendship with Him.

"Songs of Joy" by James Tissot

The feasts and holidays God told the Israelites to celebrate show that God knows our need for a break. But how we use the free time is our choice - and an important one. Do we use days off, like Sunday, only for our own pleasure? Or do we think about God on such days, and spend time getting to know Him better?

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the variety of holidays through the year. Help me to use these special days in a way that pleases You. Amen.

MORE: Feast List

Complete a list of the feasts or holidays God told the people to celebrate. (In the brackets is the month they would celebrate the feast on our calendar):

- Leviticus 23:3 [1.] __________________ (Once a week all year long)
- Leviticus 23:5 [2.] __________________ (March or April)
- Leviticus 23:5 [3.] __________________ (March or April)
- Leviticus 23:9-14 Feast of First Fruits (April)
- Leviticus 23:15 Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost) and the Harvest Festival (June)
- Leviticus 23:23 Feast of Trumpets (September/October)
- Leviticus 23:27 [4.] _________________ (September/October)
- Leviticus 23:34 [5.] _________________ (September/October)