Tonight I would like to thank you all for coming to the Feast of Tabernacles here in Khun Yuam. I would like to briefly talk about why we are here and some of what we hope to speak about and do this year at the Feast of Tabernacles. Here at Khun Yuam this year we have a wide and diverse mixture of people. We will have some Westerners like myself, we have Karen brethren here from the border regions, we some brethren who will be coming later this week who are from Burma, and we also have some Lahu students here from Legacy Institute. All of us here, no matter how different our backgrounds and our origin, or whatever language we speak, are the children of our heavenly Father, created in the image and likeness of God.
This diversity among the brethren was true from the very beginning. Let us turn to Deuteronomy 16:13-15 to read about who is to keep God’s feast and how we are to keep it. Deuteronomy 16:13-15 reads as follows: “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you shall surely rejoice.”
This passage tells us the answer to two questions I want all of us to remember for the Feast of Tabernacles this year. First, the passage tells us who is to enjoy the Feast of Tabernacles. Everyone. Men and women, parents and children, servants, Levites (like myself), foreigners, widows and orphans are all to keep the Feast of Tabernacles and fellowship together. No one is excluded. No one is left out. No one is forgotten. All are to share in celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles together as part of God’s family.
Additionally, this passage also tells us how we are to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. We are to celebrate it with joy. We are commanded to rejoice! We are not to sulk around bored or unhappy during the Feast of Tabernacles. We are not to have grim or sad faces, or to be gloomy or unhappy. I know I personally have not always known and remembered, or kept, this particular commandment of God. But this year we will all remember and follow this commandment, because God desires us to be happy, to rejoice in this Feast and in what it means, and so in our messages as well as in our activities we will seek to remember the spirit of family and fellowship and restoration that these wonderful days symbolize. And if there is anyone who does not look as if they are enjoying the Feast of Tabernacles as God commands, I want all of us to encourage them and show compassion on them, that they may be freed from whatever sadness or suffering they face. Let none of us do anything that will cause someone else to suffer, but rather let us share our own honest and sincere joy with all around us, no matter who they are or where they come from.
I would like to comment a little bit on some matters, so I would like you all to take notes if necessary to remember those announcements that I have to give. If anyone needs anointing during this Feast, please come to room #18, which is along the walkway down at the end of the hall on the right side. This is where Mr. Leon Sexton will be staying, and he is responsible for the prayer and anointing for those who are ill or suffering during this Feast. If you need prayers or assistance when Mr. Sexton is not here, please come to me. I am staying in the room under the big wood house next to the terrace.
Additionally, I would like you all to look at the schedules you have been given. The schedules are all in English, but I hope that with a little help from one of our translators that they may be understood. There are a couple of hymn singalongs scheduled for this feast. The first is on October 14th, in two nights, after the Westerners and Burmese brethren have arrived from Chiang Mai and we all have a Bible Study with them. The second is on the night of October 19th after my Bible study. If you want to have singalongs more often than that, you are welcome to do so, so long as you have a willing keyboard player, guitarist, and people to sing. Just remember to keep quiet after 10PM because some of us are looking to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
In addition to this, we have a couple of soccer field days planned, one on the afternoon of the 14th of October and one on the afternoon of the 19th. It is my hope that in the nearby soccer field on the old airstrip that we can play some soccer games with each other. If possible, I hope you can make teams together so that we can play—perhaps we may even be able to play a best of five tournament on these two days, if you all would like that. On Sunday, October 16th, we have a trip to the waterfall planned in the afternoon as well, so I hope you all brought your swimming suits. On Tuesday, October 18th, we have Family Day. The event is being organized by Mr. Bill Grinnell, one of the gentlemen who is visiting us from the United States. We would like to have teams of friends and families join together to play in a novelty Olympics for some assorted prizes. It is my hope that we all have an enjoyable Feast of Tabernacles trip and get to know our far-flung brethren better, and all better understand the family of God that we are a part of.
With all of that said, I would like to conclude, because it is late and there is no need after many of us have traveled so long to hear a long lecture. Please remember tonight, and after every services, to put your hymnals back on the table in the front of the stage after the closing prayer. Tomorrow morning, and every morning, we will have breakfast here at 8:00AM. We will have lunch at noon every day, and tomorrow services, along with an offertory message, will be at 2:30PM. For Legacy Students, there will be a choir practice at 1:30PM. Please be on time. Dinner will follow every evening at 6:00PM, and there will be a Bible Study every night at 7:30PM. I hope you all have a peaceful night’s sleep, and to see you all tomorrow at breakfast. And may God grant us all a meaningful, inspiring, and enjoyable Feast of Tabernacles here in Khun Yuam. Goodnight.