But after the day of the Lord, once Jesus comes and reigns on earth, this will no longer be an issue. “On that day,” these cooking pots will be like the sacred bowls used at the altar and ever pot will be holy to the Lord. Regular pots, pans, and utensils and Temple pots, pans, and utensils are the same: holy to the Lord.
Feasting and fasting were a part of the ancient Israel culture. When they came out of Egypt and the desert, God gave the Israelites a number of festivals which involved both feasting and fasting. The two were not supposed to be separated but instead integrated into the life of an individual and the life of a community.
I believe this passage does speak about the physical, but it is a physical after Jesus’ return and the New Heavens and New Earth are established. But I also believe it is a spiritual reality that we can inhabit now in the already-not-yet-here kingdom of Heaven. When we allow the walls around us to come down so that everyone can come in to the Kingdom, so that everyone can see the glory of the Lord, we return to Him and He to us.
Whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen is in God’s hands. My life and your life is in His hands. Like the angel says to Daniel, we can say to ourselves as well, “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance” (Daniel 12:13).
What if this new year you took on the attitude of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and instead of expecting, predicting, or insisting that God would act in a particular way, know that God is able but even if He does not, that He is still is good, great, and God.
Daniel wanted to strip down and take anything away that could possibly be defiling. Daniel was in a new place. He was being taught new things. And now he was being given new food. All of these things could defile him, but not all of these things were in his control.
This has been a tough year. I imagine collectively we have wept more tears, mourned more deaths, and felt more pain than we have in any other year in recent history. As we approach Christmas and leave this Advent season (Happy Christmas Eve Eve!), we can look towards the newness, happiness, and brightness that Christmas morning brings. Lights on the tree. Fire in the fireplace. Marshmallows in the hot chocolate. Gifts to give those we love.
Christmas is three days away. Yesterday was the sinter solstice and with this yearly development, we begin to rise out of darkness as the days again get longer and longer. It is interesting that the solstice is a few days before Christmas. It seems to be help push Advent into more brightness. The winter solstice is always during the fourth week of Advent and so as the darkness day moves into brighter days, we light four candles, and eventually the fifth candle, the Christ candle.
It confused me, as I got older, when I saw others who had somewhat similar experiences to me who did not have the same strong knowledge of Bible stories. What I had to come to realize was that some families and churches pushed more of the Christian “feeling” and morality than knowledge of the Biblical story.
Advent is a time to prepare for Christ’s coming, both His first and His return. While we can prepare with trimming the tree and wrapping gifts for each other, we need not to forget to be humble before God. Let us enter this fourth week of Advent with humble hearts and clean hands.