By Jamin Roller
Restore is the second Wednesday of every month. It is a three-hour gathering for our staff members to pray, worship, journal, and hear teaching from God’s word. The hope is to remember that even as ministers, we are first sons and daughters of God before we are servants for God. Our hope in those three hours is that God would “restore” us by reminding us of who He is to us and who we are to Him.
Every month, Restore feels like an interruption. It always falls in the middle of a busy week filled with people to counsel, sermons to prepare, and an inbox that won’t empty itself. I often think of all the things I could get done during those three hours. More often than I wish were true, I walk into that time a bit distracted, wishing I could be doing something else, more “important” things.
Reading through Leviticus 23 and 24, I wonder if the Israelites ever felt that way about all these feasts and festivals. In this section of the book, there are seven annual feasts the people are commanded to observe in addition to the weekly Sabbath. God does not present these as optional; rather, they are a non-negotiable part of life in God’s presence. Through these feasts and days, the people are invited to remember their corporate story, what God has done for them, and the great honor that comes with being His chosen people.
The people of God needed these feasts of remembrance for the same reason I need a monthly time of staff worship. The human heart is prone to forgetfulness and self-sufficiency. Israel was prone to forget God’s provision for them, their rescue from Egypt, and even the special covenant God had made with them. With forgetfulness comes a failure to give thanks for what God has done and worship Him for who He is. In response, God graciously fills the people’s calendar with days and meals to help fight against forgetfulness and keep their hearts close to Him.
Mark 2:28 and Colossians 2:17 tell us that God has graciously filled our lives with something even better than feasts and days. Instead of living under the command to observe these appointed times, we live under the sacred calling to remember Jesus and live in the Spirit.