A few years ago the Seattle Times carried an article by Shirleen Holt in which was the following:
“Nearly ten million Americans worked more than sixty hours a week last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics found. We’ve outpaced the famously productive Japanese in hours worked. We’re the only developed nation without mandatory vacation time. And, according to Expedia.com’s annual vacation poll, one in three of us will take no vacation this year.”
But, there’s one more I’d like to add.
Vacation might possibly have its roots set in the Jewish celebration known as the Feast of Tabernacles given to Moses on Mount Sinai. After the giving of the Ten Commandments, God tells Moses in Exodus 21:1, “These are the laws you are to set before them.” Then, over the next ten chapters God share the specifics of how he wants his people to live. In Exodus 23:16b we read, “…Celebrate the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather your crops in from the field.” A short study of the Feast of Tabernacles (also known as the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Ingathering) reveals of truckload of treasures.
We’re going to start in Leviticus 23:33-44.
- Vacation requires a chunk of time. Leviticus 23:34 shines a light on seven days.
- Vacation invites us into a season of celebration (Lev. 23:39).
- Vacation is founded and framed by praise and gratitude (Lev. 23:40).
- Vacation is a gift for all generations (Lev. 23:41).
- Vacation invites us to do something out of the ordinary. For the Hebrew nation that meant sleeping out in booths or tents all week (23:42). Deuteronomy 16:15 encourages us to go where God leads.
- Vacation is a time to remember God’s deliverance and the freedom that results (Lev. 23:43).
Are you making vacation plans? Peek into Deuteronomy 16:13-15. Your heart will soar. Your joy will be complete. (That’s no small promise.)
Jesus puts the icing on the cake in John 7.
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:37-38.
What if the idea of vacation is not about “taking time away” but “giving time to God” in the midst of our fun, fellowship, rest and adventure?
My family is hoping to go on vacation next week.
I will be packing a bucket.
Note: This post was originally published on July 15, 2013. We are re-posting it because we believe it is just as important today as ever. We hope you’re challenged to think of rest and vacation in a fresh new way.