Tuesday 18 October 2011

The True Sukkot - Sukkot as Church Life

 This is the introduction to  three posts on how Sukkot is celebrated by a female rabbi, complete with pictures and celebrations of previous all time highlights for her. Below all this is my stated reason on Facebook why I am posting all this.

See also  The Flicker photoset

Preparing for Sukkot 5772

Ten Days of Awe memories I don't want to lose



Computers, habits, houses, the moon

There's something a little bit funny about having a computer crash at the start of Sukkot. Sukkot is a festival of impermanence, when we're meant to leave our houses and dwell for a week in fragile huts with roofs through which one can see the stars as they emerge over the week of the moon's waning. And what should happen to me on the first day of Sukkot but the total and unexpected death of my hard drive, forcing me to relinquish the structures of data and habit in which I ordinarily dwell.
Nothing should turn out to be permanently lost; the friendly folks at the Apple store in Albany helped me retrieve the data which was new to my machine since I'd last backed it up, and I hope to have a new computer by the end of this week. But in the meanwhile I'm in a kind of digital limbo, using borrowed technology, constantly bumping up against the realization that some vital piece of data or some unremembered account password is not at my fingertips.
In Tarot, the death card is usually understood as a metaphor for transformation and change. The death of the old brings the birth of the new. Here we are at harvest-time, bringing in the riches of the growing season which has now ended. The spectacular autumn colors which grace our hills at this time of year are already fading, leaves knocked down by our frequent recent rains. We're heading toward the dormant season (in this hemisphere), toward bare trees and cold air. But that period of dormancy is always the prelude to the next period of fertility and growth.
I'm trying to take this amusingly-timed computer demise as an opportunity to step outside my usual ways. What do I really need to bring with me at week's end when I move in to the new "house" of metal and bits? Which of the blogs I habitually read bring richness, delight, new ideas to my life, and which might be cut from my daily routine because they tend to make me angry or sad?
My eldest brother, some years ago, taught me the sentiment contained in Mizuta Masahide's gorgeous haiku as "my barn having burned down, I found I could see the moon." (You can find two translations of the haiku on the poet's wikipedia page to which I just linked.) The collapse of a computer is a kind of barn-burning -- or it can be, at least for those of us whose lives (professional, personal, creative, communal) are so intricately interwoven with the technology we use. Having lost the machine, what moon might I be newly-able to view?
It's the perfect question for Sukkot. Sukkot calls us to step out of our houses, out of our habits, out of our illusions of permanence and stability. To spend one week connecting with others and rejoicing in the outdoors, in the harvest, in the world around us. Maybe by taking a week away from our barns, as it were, we can learn to see the moon without needing a burning-down in order to remind us of just how blessed we always are.END

The reason I post this is NOT to get the gracebook Community to weave together some little booths in their back gardens, or to wander along to celebrate with your local Jewish community, though you can.My purpose is to crash into your thinking with this.True church celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles each week.True church is that ecclesia community drawn together kind of from nowhere, by direct revelation that Jesus really is the Son of God, really did rise from the dead, and somehow in all the previous shakings of our existence, come away from all we think of as "mine,my previous identity, the gloroius remains of my shattered edifice, my Temple of Me,"to an "outside the system "simple booth like structure. This boothlike structure, be it Holy Spirit meeting, be it gathering together with you, be it whatever....has no roof. Has no one man pastor over my head. Has only the stars. God is my roof. And together we gather under this roof, this right headship, with little else but what Christ is in me and what He is in you. And rather than have little to say or do, finishing quickly after 5 nervous ,embarrassing minutes, we can fill hours with the tangible flow of the Spirit me to you, you to me. We never exhaust the riches of Him in us. We don't leave and think, coo I'm glad that's over. We have to tear ourselves away, sometimes with tears.We may even be stoned drunk in the Spirit. You see this is church. This is Sukkot.18 minutes ago ·

Great Tabernacles of my Life in Christ 
 see the common threads!
While the "official resume of my Christian life" reads
Berkhamsted Methodist Church
St John's Methodist Church Amersham
conversion at 13
Old Town Baptist Church Amersham
Emsworth Church
Havant Church  (Portsdown Community Church Meridan Centre Havant)

The True Sukkot version looks like this

  • Christian Centre - behind what is now Talkback Amersham. Monthly youth meetings .Evangelistic. Saw two Billy Graham films : Jim Vaus Wiretapper.   Two A Penny with Cliff Richard
  • Holy Spirit and evangelistic training day. Conceived by two independent believers in two different churches by dream and vision. Held April 6th 1972. In a member's house in Kingshill Buckinghamshire. All day event. Many young people (drawn from our church and somehow other parts of Bucks?) baptised in the Holy Spirit including me
  • School field where I counted 80 of about 120 boys sitting on the grass at lunchtime studying the Bible and sharing teaching. Summer term 1972 Dr Challoners Grammar School. Small local period of revival.   (Otherwise, think atheism in Britain at this time)
  • Demi Lune Coffee Bar Amersham (now something else) drug addicts met there. Sharing.
  • Jesus Festival London. 25,000 sharing the bread via Hovis in Trafalgar Square with Arthur Blessitt
  • Olive Dover's House,Amersham several of us learning about praise
  • Ron and Pam Knight's house,Amersham. Learning Jesus in me. And Jesus is the one who makes my Christianity work. Not me working for God. Watchman Nee teachings. Space to learn prophecy and prophetic worship
  • Tabernacling for 4 weeks with Sisters of Mary Darmstadt at their Kanaan Community 1974 with other male and female youth. We lodged with the Brothers
  • Amazing Covenant meal on  a farm lawn with the Boughtons, Marcus Roberts, my German exchange friend, and others
  • 1975 I visited a "BOOTH" in Brighton . Took my "first" girlfriend (at 10 years old) though she was nolonger! She was genuinely touched and in later years came to know Jesus.This was one of the first community home groups, many of which moved on to Emsworth.Here I listened to the "Lakes Bible Week" Ern Baxter on The King and His Army, about David and Saul. I was also blitzed by Romans 8. And by Maurice Smith's book "Amazing Grace"
  • Arrive in Paderborn,Germany for the end of their Holy Spirit revival among the Catholic Seminary. Virtually live full time with the Franke family. Martin had spent a month with Judson Cornwall in the USA and was instructing his home group in praise and prophetic worship
  • Although Exeter University has a Christian Union, 1977God raised up a SUKKOT  in our own Halls of residence. Christine, my wife in 1998, was one of these 12 or so.We met and shared praise and worship and teaching.We prayed for and supported one another. people came to know Jesus.
  • One of the most significant Booths of my lifetime: Dales Bible Weeks with Ern Baxter 76-78.One of the greatest changes of mindset as we really saw that the Kingdom was NOW.But sadly at this time nobody really understood  "separation" and "union", so we have as a consequence many many people all working on a vision that was only ever Christ's to fulfil.
  • 1978 Although I'd felt to begin by contacting Rue de Musset, the biggest Holy Spirit church in Paris at the time, I actually ended up in a "BOOTH" of the Spirit in Northern France near Houlgate with the Nugues family, who were seeking to establish "une ville de refuge" a city of refuge, which is another Holy Spirit term for this booth like way of operating out of the mainstream. Booth existence is flimsy, temporary. Very little structure. It is more about humans meeting up without their clutter, to experience God IN THEM together.
  • Final term of first year at Exeter sensed God saying "I have more for you". So I left. Some months later ended up in another BOOTH of His Spirit : Casa Biblica, or Bible House in Emsworth Church. Stayed 6 years. Learned much under Jorge Pradas and Ed Miller and Ian McCulloch. Including so much more about "Holy Spirit meetings" and how they function.Spanish speakers will learn much in Jorge's book "Congregados Para Darle Gloria"
  • 1989 meeting in Cobham Christian Retreat Centre learning with Zerubbabel Group and Page Prewitt and Brian Coatney, Pat Mace, Bill Bower. "Christ as me in my form" and Galations 2:20
  • 1990 hired a self catering house in Emsworth and invited members of our Exeter Hall group to it, to share about 3rd level Christianity.  A POSH BOOTH. Fully equipped with swimming pool,sauna, and so much more!!!
  • There's a Booth aspect to Morris Cerullo's Schools of Ministry. Leaders from all over the world gather to hear from around 15 to 20 key leaders sharing their Holy Spirit revelation. They usually last 4 to 5 days and people converge on a large hotel. These were great for drenching yourself in the faith walk, and getting Holy Spirit glimpses of the world picture!
  • God brought Rory and Wendy Alec to my little house in Emsworth, before they knew about God Channel, and after I'd been in 4 years intercession and believing for God to raise up the Media in the UK for the gospel. UK Laws had forbidden the UCB channel they had been given by Russia. But the Laws never covered sattellite frequencies....which was a greater blessing anyway, since they became the DEFAULT, and are used throughout the earth!
  • The Glory Conferences and Key of David meetings (Havant) have a BOOTH type flimsiness to them, with people coming from all over the place. When the Spanish stayed in our house for a conference we had a lovely BOOTH time one Saturday night, where they prayed over us,(Christine and I) calling us  a new sample of couples He is bringing forth. Christine was likened to a flower opening up slowly, to reveal the beauty of what God has really been building in her.
  • Virtual Booths. Blogs and Facebook Church (Gracebook). "Only joined by that which every joint supplies".  Receiving genuinely and in the Holy Spirit is also a kind of supply in this context.
The real Body of Christ is built quite differently from the official versions you see out there. Your Christianity is about two things. Christ being built into you. And Christ building you into this larger Melchizedek booth of those who are really your father , mother, brothers , sisters,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't rely on your insight
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
It's not about an outer church structure. It's about God building a tabernacling booth in you and me.
People get desperate to "meet in the right church", "get into the right apostolic network".
The Holy Spirit organises the "outer booths", you only have to busy yourself with setting your heart to the correct God wavelength of Psalm 19, because Day to day He pours forth speech, often completely bypassing any so called apostle. A real apostle does two things: Builds Christ into people, and builds those Christ people into flimsy booths, flexible wineskins, which further break apart when the wine is ready to spill out into more areas.
Rogue apostles have been building booths with themselves as the roof. Booths don't have a roof. God is the roof. And instead of making them flimsy, temporary things, they have been shaping the structures in rigid materials that resemble statuettes of themselves.

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