When I was a new mom, I read a book called Creative Family Times by The authors encouraged me to get in the habit of carrying on conversations with my children about God as often as possible.
In this blog series, I’m listing ideas to get the conversations started. I’ll just list verses straight from the Bible, then I’ll share beneath how we implement some of the ideas in our home.
God instituted special days throughout the year that serve as wonderful opportunities so we can share the love of our Messiah with our children.
“Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that YHWH will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?‘ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to YHWH, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'” (Exodus 12:24-27).
Just as the first Passover was a time for starting conversations about God with the children, each feast is a scheduled opportunity — an appointment — so that we can instill faith and trust in our kids.
These days are called moedim, or “appointments.” The first time we read about God’s special calendar “appointments” is right at Creation.
“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth'” (Genesis 1:14-15).
The word “seasons” in this verse is also moedim, or a fixed time for meeting. Throughout the Bible, we see this word used 213 times, often to refer to the tabernacle where the people of Israel assembled to meet with God. At most other times, it refers to “feasts,” or times that God has set aside on the calendar for us to “meet” with him.
Each feast’s date can be determined by looking at the sun, moon, and stars that were created by YHWH and placed there to help us know when to meet with Him.
Making It Practical
Schedule the following appointments on your calendar (from Leviticus 23), then plan some conversations with your children about God.
“These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of YHWH, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies…” (Leviticus 23:2).
1. The Sabbath
“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to YHWH” (Leviticus 23:3).
The first of the moedim, or appointments, comes once each week. The setting of the sun every sixth day marks the beginning of a day set aside as a appointment with God. Exodus 20:11 tells us that we are to remember God’s creation each week, and Deuteronomy 5:15 tells us we are to remember our redemption by God’s mighty hand each week. What are some creative ways that you could discuss these two topics each week with your children?
2. Other Feasts
I think it’s really fun to see how the sun, moon, and stars show us when to meet with God through all the year. Check these out!
- “YHWH’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month…” (Leviticus 23:5) — See? the sun tells us when twilight is, and we look at the moon to count 14 days from the first day of the first month.
- “On the fifteenth day of that month YHWH’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins…” (Leviticus 23:6) — See? we use the moon to count 15 days into the month.
And so it goes, through each feast listed in Leviticus 23. There are seven moedim, or appointments, listed in this chapter. As we study them further in Scripture, we see that they are rich in symbolism and packed with hands-on opportunities to talk about God with our children.
Here are several “must-have” books on my shelf:
- Celebrating Biblical Feasts in Your Home or Church, by Martha Zimmerman
- Israel’s Feasts and Their Fullness, by Batya Wootten
Next time we’ll talk about some memorials you can set up, to remember the things God has done for you. These will surely get discussions going with your children!