Reflections: Festival of Firstfruits and Geography

Tomorrow is Pentecost, also called “Festival of Firstfruits” and “Feast of Weeks”.

During the Days of Unleavened Bread, a sheaf of grain is waved before God as an offering. That grain is kept and used to make flour, which is in turn used to make bread that will also be waved before God. The loaves are waved before God on the Feast of Firstfruits.

Traditionally, this was the day that the firstfruits of the first harvest were brought to the Tabernacle or Temple and offered to God. There was more than one harvest season in the land of ancient Israel. The fall Feast of Tabernacles pictured the celebration after the last harvest of the year. Jesus referred to the harvest speaking of people (Mt 9:37-38; Lk 10:2).

Obviously, harvesting is rich in meaning. However, I live in Ohio. That’s why it takes a reminder that this is a harvest festival. After all, I just barely got my garden put in, and I’m celebrating a harvest?

Of course, the holy days center around the growing seasons in a very different part of the world.

But, I guess we should get used to it. After all, we’ll likely be spending a lot of time there at some future date.

And, isn’t that what the holy days do? Get us to look to the future? It is a shame that some thing they are done away with, for much of their meaning has yet to be completely fulfilled.

Comments are closed.