41His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; 44but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances…48So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” 49And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”(Luke 2:41-44, 48-49 NKJV).
Annual convocations of God’s people for corporate worship of God and for mutual edification of the people have been observed since the first Passover on the eve of their departure from Egypt. God actually commanded the observances of three national convocations by the people of Israel during which the children of Israel will appear before Him (Exodus 23:14-16). Attendance to these feasts was compulsory for all males, but did not preclude the females from attending. The three big compulsory feasts are; the Feast of Unleavened Bread (the Passover), the Feast of Harvest (the Pentecost), and the Feast of Ingathering (the feast of Tabernacles). During such feasts, every Jew was expected to travel to Jerusalem to worship God as one family. This is much like what we do in CRM during our national conventions and world congresses. For the Jews, these feasts help to foster a sense of family among them; reminding them of their familial commitment to one another. They help to rekindle their national sense of religion, re-affirming the special relationship they have with God as His covenant people. They afforded the entire Jewish nation the opportunity for fellowship and corporate worship of God and a time of receiving instruction on what God expects from them. Our Lord, being a good Jew, participated in all of these festivals while He was on earth as man. He attended the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:2) and celebrated the Feast of Passover (Luke 22:15). He lived in the Pentecost right from His baptism, when the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove and remained upon Him (John 1:32-34).
Not only did our Lord participate in the Jewish festivals, He also showed us how to maximise the benefits of those festivals. This necessitated the question we are faced with today, after the feast what next? The festivals were not designed to be mere carnivals but opportunities for impartations aimed at empowering the people of God to do the work of God with increased zeal and determination. Let us look closely at our Lord’s attitude after attending the conference in Jerusalem. First, “When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem.” The feast must have been so impactful for Christ that He didn’t want to leave the atmosphere but lingered in Jerusalem basking in the Presence of God in the temple. He was found in the temple three days after the festival! You must not be in a hurry to discard the influence of the world congress. Live in the atmosphere for as long as you can maintain it. In those days the Presence of God was localised in the temple at Jerusalem that explains why Jesus stayed back there. Today, every believer is the temple of God. You carry the Presence of God with you wherever you are for as long as you want. Maintain that Presence as you continue in the same attitudes and habits that enabled you to draw close to God in the Congress. Listen to the recorded proceedings of the congress and stay in the atmosphere of glory. Remember that Jesus was with the teachers both listening and asking them questions after the feast. Likewise, it is time for you to sit with the teachers and listen to them over and over again.
Secondarily, our Lord plunged Himself into His Father’s business immediately after the conference. He queried His parents, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” The purpose of the world congress is to equip you to be about the Father’s business with deeper commitment and stronger determination. The Father’s business is anything that promotes the interest of His kingdom on earth, particularly helping to bring in the soul harvest. You are now armed enough that you cannot afford to remain idle and be comfortable in the House of God. This is the time to do the work of God before the night comes when no man can work. This is the time to truly get involved in the life of the church by joining a ministry unit where you can contribute effectively.
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