In the Shadow of the King

Shavuot: Celebrating the Bridegroom's Gifts to His Beloved

Shavuot: Celebrating the Bridegroom's Gifts to His Beloved

One of the topics I most enjoyed researching for my book, In the Shadow of the King, was the Lord’s Feast days. I don’t know how I could have sat through so many church services growing up without ever learning about these amazing divinely-appointed times. There is such richness in learning about the Jewish roots of the Christian faith in general and specifically, the Jewish traditions and writings on the Feasts. 

 This weekend, we’ll celebrate Shavuot or the “Feast of Weeks” which occurs after counting seven weeks (or “counting the Omer” for forty-nine days) following the celebration of the wave offering made during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:15-16). Shavuot commemorates the opening of the heavens and the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. It symbolizes the covenant relationship of the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with the Jewish people. Traditionally, Jewish men forego sleep the first night of Shavuot, choosing instead to read the Torah until daybreak. The custom is a beautiful picture of a bride purifying herself through immersion in the Word to receive her Heavenly Groom in divine covenant.

Jesus Had Family Drama, Too

The question most frequently asked about the premise for my new novel, In the Shadow of the King, is this: Did Jesus really have brothers and sisters? My answer is yes, half-siblings—if we take a ‘no zebra’ approach to the Bible. Let me explain. 

When I started hospital rounds as a medical student, an attending physician offered this pearl of wisdom: Don’t look for zebras. If you’re at the Kentucky Derby and see an animal with a mane and a tail running on four legs, chances are it’s a horse. His point?