What is sukkot?
A sukkot (hut in Hebrew) nearly resembles what the Israelites might have lived in during the time they were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years before entering into the promised land. Sukkot was (and is) a traditionally Jewish holiday given by God to remember the in-between: the time the Israelites were freed from slavery but still awaiting their permanent home. Like the sukkots the Israelites lived in, this earth is a temporary dwelling place as we wait for the land we’re promised.
why we celebrate
We aren’t Jewish and Sukkot isn’t a super common holiday practiced by believers in Jesus, but we think it’s an important rhythm on our calendar each year. As believers in Jesus, we want to take this holiday to recognize + celebrate that God has always been faithful to his promise, and Jesus has extended us an invitation to an eternal home.
We celebrate Sukkot to honor God, to thank Jesus for being our greatest hope, and to catch glimpses of heaven that make us homesick for eternity.
how we celebrate
For one week in the fall, we spend our time at home on our back deck. We eat, entertain, and celebrate everything we’ve been given on earth and acknowledge that the goodness is just a taste of what awaits us in Heaven. For one week, we spare no expense so that we might better believe that God is a Father who gives the best.
Practically: We spend a lot of time outside. Traditionally, people celebrating the holiday will build sukkots, which are huts that they stay in for the week. We’ve bent the rules a bit and instead spend our time on our deck and in our backyard. We go inside to sleep at night and we shower throughout the week, too. We try to make our meals outside using the grill and we eat at the table on our deck. We read books and talk and play board games. We don’t hang out in our living room and we don’t eat in our dining room. We make ourselves spend time outside, even when it’s hot and even when it’s dark. We buy snacks and drinks we normally wouldn’t buy because we believe this week is a celebration of joy and generosity pointing us to a loving God. We invite people into the celebration because it’s pleasing to God and (bonus!) makes the time more fun.
Hebrews 13:14-16 This is not our permanent home, we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. Do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.