Hope in an Almond Blossom
Tomorrow is a day to recall our hope of coming redemption. Take the almond tree in Israel, for instance. By Tu b’Shevat (the fifteenth of Shevat), sap begins to move inside the almond and its blooms are ready to pop. The almond, known as the Tree of Resurrection, blossoms though winter lingers on. Following this pattern, it is a practice in Israel to take what appears to be cold, shriveled, and dead – like trees in winter – and celebrate the life which is stirring just beneath the surface.
Tu B’Shevat 2018, which occurs on January 31, is a holiday to do just that. Sephardic Jewish children take a school holiday to enjoy family feasting. Ashkenazi Jews hold a seder or ceremonial dinner to consume the fruits of Israel’s trees, like grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates. In a spiritual sense, the Land of Israel and its Temple reflected the heavenly Temple of Hebrews 8:5. The Tu B’Shevat seder, then, can be a type of Temple service.
Tu B’Shevat, the New Year’s Day for trees, is the first holiday in a trilogy of redemption holidays. In thirty days comes Purim. In sixty days, Passover. All three holidays occur mid-month when the moon waxes full. They symbolize the fullness of the coming kingdom and stages of redemption.
So it is that on this day of the year, we remind ourselves of the Messiah’s approaching redemption. Yeshua, who first redeemed the world on Passover, will soon return. He will defend the children of the kingdom and conquer every enemy as King of Kings. Even trees will be ecstatic and sing for joy when He reigns on earth (I Chronicles 16:33).
Published January 30, 2018