Celebrate the Feasts of the Lord
Author: William W. Francis
Reviewed by: Major James Bryden (UK Territorial Ecumenical Officer)
Published by Crest Books
Celebrate The Feasts of The Lord
The feasts of the Lord were Jewish festival celebrations acknowledged and celebrated by Jesus while on earth.
Commissioner William Francis transports his readers into two worlds: the rich religious past that is Israel’s heritage where he traces the origin and development of events rehearsed and re-enacted in ceremony and celebration. He then lifts the horizon to the largely unexplored territory of the life of Jesus as a devoted practising Jew. It may come as a surprise to discover the extent to which Jesus himself related to, and identified with, the ritual and rites dear to the people of God. Reading Celebrate the Feasts of the Lord is like checking out the foundation and superstructure of a great edifice. The Christian church is the superstructure whose foundation drives deep into its Jewish past.
While some may find detailed descriptions of past feasts slightly tedious, the effort to 'know' brings its own reward. The reader by a little effort will be able to tune into the minds of the New Testament writers and the revelation they seek to convey.
The book is a timely reminder of the indissoluble marriage between Old and New Testaments. Even the best of NT students are not the best if they ignore or neglect those texts that relate to Jewish feasts. The reader is left in no doubt that the real message of the gospel becomes clearer when understood in its broad context. Old and new, Jewish and Christian speak with one voice, one message. 'Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scripture,' said Jesus, 'I am not here to demolish but to complete' (Matthew 5: 17 The Message). In Celebration of the Feasts of the Lord, foundation and fulfilment stand strong and united.
William Francis succeeds in providing something for everyone. Devotional, sermon and study material are all here. Questions in the study guide appeal to novice and scholar alike. Those star events affecting the life, death and resurrection of Christ are first mirrored in the feasts. With due deference to best scholarly discipline, the author brings to light the meaning and interpretation placed on the feasts by the writers of the Gospels and Epistles. Much, previously unseen comes wonderfully into view!
Celebrate the Feasts of the Lord is set to open a door. The Jewish legacy to the Christian faith strengthens dialogue between Christians and Jews, and inspires a fresh awareness of our Lord, our faith, heritage and future. Cause for celebration indeed!