"Three times a year all your males shall appear before the face
of the LORD your God in the place which He chooses ..." (Deuteronomy
The three occasions were Passover,
Pentecost and Tabernacles (spring, early summer & autumn). The place He
chose was (and still is) Jerusalem, the city of the Great King.
Resting along the way
For some time, Dima of Tents of Mercy, had it on his heart to take this
verse at face value. So he and Andre gradually organized a grassroots
effort for the men of the congregation. And it finally happened. This Feast
of Tabernacles, a hearty band of masculine souls made the last 16 km (10
mile) leg of the hike up to Jerusalem in a two day pilgrimage. We felt the
rhythm of 2000 years ago, coming from the Galilee as did the boy Yeshua,
walking up the wooded valleys toward the Temple. The entire journey would
have taken easily two weeks on dirt paths. Today we drive that same
distance in two hours on asphalt highways.
Though our "reenactment hike" involved considerable effort, two thousand
years ago each pilgrimage like this would have meant putting "life on hold"
for a month or two. We began to receive a fresh understanding of the
priority and sacrifice of being in God's presence, before His
face, even in terms of daily personal time commitment.
The boulders, chasms and fallen trees that we encountered on the path
remind us of the obstacles and hindrances that regularly confront us in
our lives. Whether it be growing up in a broken home separated from a
father, vocational handicaps, or temptations - we are all on a difficult
journey of overcoming. Let's walk together as men, into the presence
of the King.
I was glad when they said to me, Let's go up to the
house of the LORD
Our intrepid guides Andrey and Dima