In My Jesus Year: A Rabbi’s Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith, Benyamin Cohen reminded me of a Jewish interpretation of the Last Great Day, which I had long forgotten. The Last Great Day is the eighth day of the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles. Cohen writes:
“The eighth day, known as Shemini Atzeret in Hebrew, is the one Jewish holiday in the entire year that does not have any special commandments associated with it. We are no longer required to live in the hut. We don’t light a seven-branched candelabra. We don’t eat special foods. This holiday is simply a time for God and humans to enjoy each other’s company. It’s His paternal way of saying to His children, Don’t go yet…Picture Sukkot as one weeklong party hosted by the Big Man Upstairs. Stick around after everyone else leaves, God says. That’s when I’m breaking out the good stuff” (115-116).
God loves to fellowship with us! I love this quote for pointing that out so beautifully! I also like it because it reminds me of the good times I’ve had with God. There have been times when I’ve not wanted my praise and worship to end, or when I linger on in my prayer time because I find myself enjoying God’s presence. That doesn’t happen all (or even most) of the time, but I’m grateful when it does.