THE SPRING FEASTS
And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: the feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.” Leviticus 23:1-2.
The Spring Feasts consist of four festivals: Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of Firstfruits and Pentecost (The Feast of Weeks). These feasts are extremely important because they teach us to honor God for who He is and for what He has done for us. In addition, they teach us about God’s plan for humankind and how He powerfully intervenes in human affairs! Revelation 21:3 says “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
Passover begins at sundown, April 8th and ends at sundown, April 9th. This feast celebrates the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt through Moses and humanity’s deliverance from sin and death through Jesus Christ. Passover is observed through the Passover Seder Meal.
The Passover Seder Meal is a family gathering established by God to celebrate the liberation of Israel from Egyptian captivity and humanity’s redemption from sin and death. It is a celebration meal to be shared by family members and friends. The Pastors Caldwell will host the Windsor Village Church Family Virtual Seder on Wednesday, April 8th in your home at 7:00 p.m. using the Home Seder Guide. Members will host their own Seder Dinner in their home and tune in to the Virtual Seder via Facebook Live. During the broadcast, the pastors will lead the congregation through the worship liturgy while we eat the symbolic foods of Passover. Email Council on Ministries for more details.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
Exodus 12:14-20 and Leviticus 23:5-8 explains the origin and purpose of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the day after Passover and continues for seven days (sundown, April 9th – sundown, April 16th). The observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a symbol of our commitment to turn towards righteousness and turn away from sin. During this week-long feast, nothing with leaven in it may be eaten. Abstaining from leavened bread for seven days is symbolic of God’s people separating themselves from sin and turning towards a holy relationship with the Lord. The Lord requires us to clean our homes of any food products that contain leaven, yeast, baking powder, baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate. Foods with leaven include breads, cereals, cakes, pies, crackers, and soups. Read the labels on all of your foods, especially in the pantry and freezer.
Preparing for the Feast of the Unleavened Bread
The observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread offers us an intentional time to “spring clean” our lives. Explain to your friends and family that as we celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we ask God for the power to choose a life not dominated by sin and live in the freedom found in obedience to His Kingdom ways.
LET’S GET THE LEAVEN OUT! You may eat leavened products through the afternoon of Wednesday, April 8th, 2020. However, please begin to remove them from your home (by eating or discarding them), now thru Wednesday, April 8th.
On Wednesday evening, April 8th, conduct a final inspection of your home for any leavened products. Traditionally, the head of the household does this final inspection. By sundown on the evening of April 8th, all leavened products should absolutely be out of your home and not eaten for the next seven (7) days. You may begin to purchase and consume them again after sundown on April 16th.
All believers are to bring a sacrificial offering each day beginning sundown, April 9th thru sundown, April 16th. You may bring your offering to The KBC, use the mobile app, Connection Center Kiosk, give online or mail to:
Attention: C. Stubblefield
6011 West Orem Drive
Houston, Texas 77085
Please note: These offerings are not your tithe. They are separate and in addition to your tithe.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread Worship Celebration will be held Wednesday, April 15th at 7:30 p.m. at the Heatherbrook Sanctuary.
What is Leaven?
Leaven is yeast or any “fermenting” substance used to make dough or other foods rise or sour. Some yeast derivatives are added to foods for flavor or nutritional purposes. The rules of leavening also apply to foods prepared from five types of grain: barley, wheat, rye, oats and spelt.
Removing food products that contain leaven (yeast, baking soda, baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, autolyzed yeast, & yeast extract) has its roots in ancient Passover preparation. Thirty days before the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, the women of every household began removing all leaven (known as “chametz” in Hebrew) from their homes. Removing leaven is a spiritual as well as a physical cleansing. Jesus spoke of leaven as a symbol of sin in the gospels (i.e., Luke 12:1), and the apostle Paul did likewise in I Corinthians 5:6-8.
Instructions for Removing Leavened Food Products
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat--that only may be prepared by you. So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread. Exodus 12: 15-19 (NKJV)
The Lord requires us to clean our homes of any food products that contain any kind of leaven: yeast, baking powder, baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, autolyzed yeast, or yeast extract. Also, traditionally most foods that contain wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt, except for matzah, are refrained from during Passover, as they are often processed in mills where leaven is present. Foods with leaven include most breads, cereals, cakes, pies, crackers, and soups. Read the labels on all of your foods, especially in the pantry and freezer. You may be surprised about the foods that contain leaven. It is easy to identify packaged foods that are usable during the Feast of Unleavened Bread by looking for product packages bearing one of these symbols:
Here is a suggested leavening removal guide. Try to eat these foods during this removal time period:
The general idea is to symbolize a purified life in Jesus by “eating clean” for the 7 days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This diet is also a healthier way to eat.
Here are some examples of items you should remove from your home.
Again, if in doubt, ask the following questions:
1. Does this food or drink contain any leavening agents? Yeast or yeast derivatives? Baking soda or baking powder? Was yeast (or any other leavening agent) involved in the process of making this food? NOTE: ALL fermented foods/drinks are NOT allowable during Passover, except that which is specifically labeled as kosher for Passover.
2. Does this food or drink contain any wheat (except matzah or matzah products), barley, rye, oats, or spelt?
If the answer to either of these questions is "yes," then that food is NOT allowable during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Examples of Passover Food Alternatives
Link to other Passover cooking ideas: http://www.jewfaq.org/kfpfood.htm
THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS
The word firstfruits means “a promise to come.” On the day of Firstfruits, Friday, April 10, 2020, the Church Family will bring a special offering to the Lord. This offering will represent the firstfruits of any financial income since the Feast of Tabernacles which was held (October 2019). In Leviticus 23:9-14, the first crops of the barley harvest were offered to God as an offering of thanksgiving for the promise of an abundant harvest. This offering, lifted up to the Lord, is called the early firstfruits. In I Corinthians 15:23, Jesus is considered the firstfruit of the harvest of all who have died in him. This Feast was fulfilled when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. For Christians, this feast is important because it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Offerings can be made online at www.kingdombuilders.com, then click on Give; using the Windsor Village App; brought to The Kingdom Builders' Center; or mailed to Windsor Village Church Family~ Attention C. Stubblefield~6011 West Orem Dr. Suite 2250, Houston, TX 77085.
COUNTING OF THE OMER
You shall count for yourselves -- from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving -- seven Sabbaths, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh Sabbath, you shall count, fifty days... Leviticus 23:15-16.
God instructed the Israelites to count the days from Passover to the Feast of Pentecost in anticipation of Pentecost (see Leviticus 23:16). This 50-day period is known as the Counting of the Omer. Counting the Omer reminds us of the link between Passover and Pentecost, which celebrates the Giving of the Law in the Old Testament and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. An "Omer" is a unit of measure for grain in ancient Israel. Counting the Omer began with the symbolic offering of an omer of barley ("First Fruits") in the Jerusalem Temple and continued up until the day before a symbolic offering of wheat was brought to the Temple on the day of Pentecost or Shavuot. The act of Counting the Omer is a part of Jewish tradition. Encourage your children to “Count the Omer” in preparation for Pentecost.
THE FEAST OF PENTECOST
The Feast of Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. This feast is to be filled with joy and thanksgiving for God’s bountiful blessings of the harvest. During the celebration of Pentecost, believers will bring the firstfruits of any financial income since the Passover. This offering is called the latter firstfruit offering and symbolizes our thanksgiving to God for providing the “latter” spring harvest. The Church Family will offer its latter firstfruits at the Pentecost Worship Celebration, Saturday, May 30th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
“God’s Holy Days”
As our Church Family prepares to celebrate the Spring Feasts, consider scheduling the following days off from work. In Leviticus 23, God instructs the Israelites to “do no customary work” on specific days associated with the feasts because He considers them Holy days. The general interpretation of “no customary work” is taking the day off from your job or any activity that contributes to your income. Any work that is done in preparation of the feast is acceptable. The Lord understands if you have to work, but if you can, take the day off to enjoy the Lord and your family.
Remember all Holy days begin at sundown the evening before the calendar day listed.
Holy Day Passover Sundown, Wednesday, April 8th thru Sundown, Thursday, April 9th
Day off Thursday, April 9th
Holy Day Feast of Unleavened Bread Sundown, Thursday, April 9th thru Sundown, Thursday, April 16th
Day off Friday, April 10th (Day 1)
Day off Thursday, April 16th (Day 7)
Holy Day Feast of Pentecost Sundown, Friday, May 29th thru Sundown, Saturday, May 30th
Day off Saturday, May 30th
References: A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays by Robin Sampson & Linda Pierce
The Messianic Church Arising by Dr. Robert Heidler
The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary by M. Strassfeld, 1985
A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays by R. Sampson and L. Pierce, 2004
The Life Application Bible
Feasts and Holidays of the Bible by Rose Publishing, 2008
Christ in the Passover, by Moishe Rosen
The Spring Church Family Fast
FASTING INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADULTS
The Spring Church Family Fast will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 29th and end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 5th
What is a Fast?
The Hebrew word for fasting means “to cover the mouth.” The Greek word for fasting means “not to eat.” Simply put, fasting means to abstain from food. Fasting involves turning away from foods that the body craves in order for our spirit to concentrate on God in worship, service, and praise.
Fasting has been a part of Christianity through the ages. It is a form of spiritual and scriptural sacrifice. Fasting does not change or impress God. Fasting changes us. Through fasting, Christians are empowered to discipline their daily relationship with the Lord.
The fast will consist of abstaining from food. In other words, you are fasting if you are not eating food. The primary method of fasting will be one (1) meal each day.
Why Should We Fast?
John Wesley, the original organizer of the Methodist Movement, fasted. In fact, he fasted twice a week. More importantly, Jesus Christ fasted! We fast as a Church Family because God’s blessings reside in our unity. This special time encourages us to be “like-minded, having the same love and being of one accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-3).
Who Should Fast?
Prayerfully, each member will participate in the Church Family Spiritual Fast. Please consult your physician about your fasting if: (1) you are pregnant; (2) you are on prescribed medication; (3) you are under a doctor’s care; (4) you have experienced illness on a previous fast; (5) or, you do not normally eat anyway.
YOUR PHYSICIAN’S ORDERS TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER THIS FAST! FOLLOW YOUR PHYSICIAN’S ORDERS!!!
How to Fast
The primary method of fasting for the Church Family Spiritual Fast will be one (1) meal each day eaten after 6:00 p.m. Meals should be completed within 75 minutes from the moment you put food into your mouth.
Fasting Options include:
1. “Veterans” - Veterans are those members who have participated in the Church Family Spiritual Fast two or more times.
2. “First Round Draft Choices” - (First Rounders are those persons who have never fasted or have only participated in a Church Spiritual Fast one time.) First Rounders will eat two (2) meals per day, one at breakfast before 8:00 a.m. and one after 6:00 p.m. Be consistent; eat the breakfast meal at a routine hour. Complete your meals within 75 minutes from the moment you put food into your mouth. Please pray the daily prayer topic during the time of the skipped meal (lunch meal) and during your regular prayer time for the day.
3. “Special Teams” consist of persons who are under a doctor’s care, pregnant, or unable to miss a meal for health reasons. Special Teams should eat regularly scheduled meals. Participation in the Church Family Spiritual Fast will consist of abstaining from foods such as sweets, carbonated beverages or any foods such as breads and meats that you feel “you must have at least a little of every day.”
It is important for the Church Family to be of one mind and heart. Please fast in accordance with the above-listed instructions. Fasts such as a “cleansing fast,” “grapefruit fast,” and others are not appropriate during this special time.
Requirements for Fasting
1. No nibbling! If you feel hungry (that’s expected and normal), drink water and pray.
2. No sweets (including sweeteners), chips, candy, chewing gum, soft drinks, or any other junk food should be eaten at any time during the fast by Veterans, First Rounders, or Special Teams.
3. If you experience headaches, fatigue or weakness, faint feelings, nausea, fever, and/or extreme hunger, eat a piece of fruit, slice of bread, crackers, or vegetables (preferably raw). Consult your physician if these feelings persist.
4. Water only! Please restrict your liquid intake to water. No sodas, juices, fruit juices, lemon water, or flavored water. If you are fasting no food, please drink at least 64oz – 80oz of water each day. Raw vegetable juices are permitted if you are fasting no food.
5. If you experience “blackouts” while exerting energy, please eat a light, nutritionally-balanced meal.
6. If you are eating once a day, it is recommended that you do not exercise during the fast.
7. As I Corinthians 7:5 tells us, no love-making for married folk! (Single Christians are already abstaining.) Both spouses should agree to the fast as a sacrifice of consecration to the Lord. If one of the spouses is not in agreement with I Corinthians 7:5, then do not abstain. There must be agreement between marital partners.
8. Individual prayer times for each day are 6:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. If your schedule does not allow for these hours, please adjust your schedule to include a morning prayer time and an evening prayer time.
9. If you “fall off” the fast, get back on. Do not allow the devil to condemn you.
Fasting Instructions for Children and Youth
God gives us pastors according to His heart who will feed us with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15). We must obey our pastors for they watch over our souls (Hebrews 13:17).
Parents should teach and guide by their example the importance of following the leadership of our pastors. When Pastor Caldwell proclaims the fast, children and youth are capable of obeying and participating.
Parents, please prayerfully consider including your children and youth in the Church Family Spiritual Fast. It will be a blessed experience for them and it will begin to lay a foundation for their future. Your support and encouragement are recommended to maximize your child’s success.
Why Should Children and Youth Fast?
• To have a closer relationship with God our Father and Jesus Christ;
• To become more sensitive and responsive to the Holy Spirit;
• To present the opportunity for you to spend more time waiting on the Lord; and,
• To build your prayer life.
As children and youth fast, they, too, will receive the benefits and blessings of obedience and fasting.
How to Fast?
• Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
• Eat healthy vegetables, fruits, meats, breads, milk, and cereal.
• Eat a healthy snack between meals such as fruit, vegetables, etc.
• Drink WATER, 100% JUICE, and MILK as the only beverages.
NO SWEETS, PIZZA, FRENCH FRIES, CHIPS, CANDY, CHEWING GUM, SOFT DRINKS, OR ANY OTHER JUNK FOODS!
Please help your child (ren) pray each prayer on the appropriate day as designated by the Prayer Topic Calendar.
Prayer During the Fast
CHURCH FAMILY NOON PRAYER
Monday, March 30th, 12:00 p.m. thru Friday, April 3rd, 2020, 12:00 p.m. Mature Adults are encouraged to attend Noon Prayer at The KBC
City Hall Reflection Pond on Smith St. between Walker and McKinney, Downtown – Houston
THE CHURCH FAMILY EVENING PRAYER
Monday, March 30th, 7:00 p.m. thru Friday, April 3rd, 2020, 7:00 p.m. in your home.
ANNUAL CHURCH FAMILY FAST BEGINS
Monday, March 29, 2020
CHURCH FAMILY NOON PRAYER
Monday, March 30th, 12:00 p.m. thru Friday, April 3rd, 2020, 12:00 p.m. - The KBC
City Hall Reflection Pond on Smith St. between Walker and McKinney Downtown Houston
BROTHERS' ONLY WORSHIP CELEBRATION
Monday, April 6, 2020, 7:00 p.m. at The KBC
CHURCH FAMILY EVENING PRAYER
Monday, March 30th thru Friday, April 3rd
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
KINGDOM COMM-UNITY PRAYER & DINNER
Sunday, April 5th
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Community of Faith Church
1024 Pinemont Drive
ANNUAL CHURCH FAMILY FAST ENDS
Sunday, April 5, 2020
FEAST OF PASSOVER
Sundown, Wednesday, April 8th thru Sundown, Thursday, April 9th
CHURCH FAMILY VIRTUAL SEDER CELEBRATION
Wednesday, April 8th, 7:00 p.m.
Facebook Live. Search Windsor Village Church Family
FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
Sundown, Thursday, April 9th thru Sundown, Thursday, April 16th
FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS
Sundown, Friday, April 10th thru Sundown, Saturday, April 11th
RESURRECTION WORSHIP CELEBRTATIONS
Saturday, April 11, 2020, 6:00 p.m. - 6000 Heatherbrook
Sunday, April 12, 2020, 5:30 a.m., 7:50 a.m., 9:50 a.m. - The KBC
12:00 p.m. - 6000 Heatherbrook
FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD WORSHIP CELEBRATION
Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 7:30 p.m. - The KBC
FEAST OF PENTECOST
Sundown, Friday, May 29th, thru Sundown, Saturday, May 30th
FEAST OF PENTECOST WORSHIP CELEBRATION
Saturday, May 30, 2020, 6:00 p.m. - The KBC
Ecclesiastes 4:12 states, “Though one may be empowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not easily broken.”
It is highly recommended that you choose a Covenant Partner. This person will pray with you, encourage you, and remind you of God’s faithfulness. Choose someone who will walk with you throughout the duration of the fast.
Remember, your most important Covenant Partners are God our Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. As One, trust them to help and strengthen you and your Covenant Partner(s) during the Church Family Fast.
Guidelines for Covenant Partnering
· Guidelines for choosing Covenant Partners are as follows:
• Married couples partner with married couples;
• Single women partner with single women; and
• Single men partner with single men.
· Be sure to exchange telephone numbers or e-mail addresses.
· During the fast, please communicate, pray, encourage and hold each other accountable.
THE PROMISE OF GIVING
The Promise of Giving is designed to encourage giving while fasting. In Isaiah 58:6-12, the Lord explains that an acceptable fast to Him includes feeding and clothing those who are in need, restoring broken relationships with family, and sharing with strangers. During this fast, you are encouraged to use some of the money that you would spend on groceries and eating out by providing for others.
GUIDELINES FOR GIVING
The “Promise of Giving” chart below illustrates the items you are encouraged to donate during the weekends of the fast. Donate as many times as you choose during the entire week of the fast.
Please only donate: NEW items.
Bring your donation items to the assigned drop-off locations during the entire week of the fast. For your convenience, drop-off locations will be stationed at WVUMC Heatherbrook or The Kingdom Builders’ Center campuses.
All donations must be received by Thursday, April 30, 2020.