I have been to many Feast sites over the years and have come to the conclusion that each site has its own spirit.
There are many Feast sites available to God's people these days. Some locations will place considerable emphasis on:
Conspiracy theories that will go into great detail as to which dastardly groups are trying to take control of the world.
Political theories that many of the leaders will use to promote the election of a party or certain candidates.
Understanding prophecy by reading the Bible simultaneously with a Newsweek magazine.
Attempting to get Christians to conform to 1st-century Judaism.
Past problems in various Church of God denominations where deceased or geriatric (soon-to-be-deceased) leaders misused money and power.
I regret to point out that none of the above is preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. Most of the above is a waste of time and serves no good purpose at a place where God has supposedly placed His name.
Your kind of Feast
What kind of Feast site did you attend in 2008?
I hope it was a place where:
Jesus was preached as the world's future King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the Kingdom of God.
God's people were encouraged to be good ambassadors for that future kingdom.
God's present-day ambassadors were admonished to follow the fruit-and-nut admonition, which says that we were called to bear fruit, not to act like a bunch of nuts.
The true Jesus was taught, not the false Jesus of the world's churches.
Good news and bad news
The breakup of the Worldwide Church of God brought us good news and bad news.
The good news is that God's people can now think for themselves.
The bad news is that God's people can now think for themselves.
The good news for me is that I heard only wonderful, hope-filled messages during the 2008 Feast of Tabernacles.
How do you feel?
Freedom is a two-edged sword. Each person is free to make his own decisions on doctrine and church administration. Unfortunately, too many of God's people have not figured out that with freedom comes responsibility.
If you have a family, you have a responsibility to take your family members to a Feast site where they can be inspired.
People often say about attending church services on the Sabbath: "I come to church to feel better. If I leave church feeling worse than when I walked in the door, then I may need to find a new church."
The same applies to a Feast site. If your loved ones leave a Feast site on the Last Great Day feeling worse than when they arrived, you may have taken them to the wrong site.
I hope you are already making plans for the 2009 Feast of Tabernacles. As you start making your preparations, may God guide you to choose your Feast site wisely, avoiding any place that promotes futile irrelevancy as you seek a location that preaches the wonderful hope of Jesus.
I hope you are enjoying The Journal's Feast summaries, and I hope you have a great Feast in 2009.