We count our “Omer” (the time between Feast of First Fruits to Shavuot/Feast of Weeks-- found in Leviticus 23) a little differently than the rabbinical tradition. We count 7 weeks or 50 days from Sunday to Sunday. This means that we consider the first Shabbat in Passover as the first Saturday of Passover ALWAYS, and thereby the day after the first Shabbat is always a Sunday... this is even more meaningful when one understands the timing of Yeshua’s death and the days Passover landed on that particular year so that His resurrection landed on the Feast of First Fruits!
We aren't the most diligent at counting off the days EVERY night. We made a countdown chain (starting with 50 links) for Resurrection Sunday, and more often than not, we would forget to remove links each night. BUT the point is we counted the days, and as mom, I wrote the days on my kitchen calendar. Beyond our weekly focus of prayer and scripture passages to read, we really look forward to Day 40.
Day 40 is Ascension Day. According to Acts 1, Yeshua appeared to his followers for 40 days after he resurrected, and then, on the 40th day, he gave the great commission found in Matthew 28:16-20 and Mark 16:14-20 and Luke 24:44-53 and ascended into heaven. Read the account in Acts 1.
“And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”” (Acts 1:9-11 NASB)
So in celebration of Yeshua's return to Heaven to Sit at the Right Hand of the Father our Omer chains turned from green, for wheat growing, to white, for wheat ready for harvest. We are not only anticipating the physical wheat harvest, but also a spiritual harvest and gift of the Holy Spirit that was poured out 2000 years ago. As believers we already walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, but Joel 2:28 speaks of the end of days, and prophesies another outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, so we pray for that day. We pray for the eyes to be opened to see and understand the gift of Salvation through Yeshua!
We read the gospel passages and Acts 1 to the kids, we sang “this little light of mine” and then we lit a Floating Lantern and released it from our patio, and watched it float away. if we are so captivated to watch a lantern float away in the sky (last year we released a balloon), how much more so were the disciples watching Yeshua disappear behind the clouds?! Yet we have a job to do as well! We are called to make disciples. To baptize them, and to teach them ALL that Yeshua has commanded us! So for the next 10 days let us wait in anticipation for all that God has in store for us. Let us prepare our hearts for a refilling of the Holy Spirit. Let us Prepare our minds with the washing of the Word so that it will be hidden in our hearts. And let us be ready to GO and give an answer for the hope that we have in Yeshua!
Like that floating lantern, may we be that light in the darkness and may we find our strength in the Holy Spirit and hope in the resurrection of Yeshua. Happy last 10 days of the Omer and Shavuot!