October 17, 2016 - Sukkot
Today is the first day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or the Festival of Booths. This is the same festival that Jesus went to such great lengths to celebrate in John 7:1-14. The booth or Sukkah commemorates the temporary structures the Israelites lived in after they fled from slavery in Egypt and wandered the desert. Tradition requires that the Sukkah have very specific measurements, be a temporary structure but strong enough to withstand normal wind, with its roof made only of natural materials; solid enough to protect the occupant from rain but permeable enough to see the stars. One is supposed to spend as much time in the Sukkah as possible, eating all meals and sleeping there. I think the Sukkah is a beautiful allegory for our bodies and lives. Our bodies are delicate, semi-permeable and vulnerable to all but the lightest winds. Our lives have awkward enough measurements that they are almost impossible to assemble alone. Someone once said faith is really just the distinct sense that we are travelers here and our home is somewhere else. I like that. I wish you all a happy Sukkot. May your roof protect you from rain but allow in starlight, and may you travel home safely with good companions.