The Feast of Tabernacles in Baguio City was well attended. The attendance was more than what was expected. We also had many visitors from around the world. We were truly blessed to have had them with us during the Feast.
It was a joy to see the brethren during this season, especially those you only get a chance to see once a year or those whom you get to see for the first time and never know when you’ll be able to see again.
Although most of the attendees came from the same country, we all had different characteristics and cultural backgrounds. Yet, it seemed easy to bond with each other, knowing that we are one family and that we are somewhat connected to each other no matter where we may be.
Some of the teens and singles of the church were given tasks for the entire duration of the Feast. They were assigned to activities like registration and handling the distribution of Church literature, operating the PA system, distribution and retrieval of hymnals every service, arranging the flowers, serving at the Seniors’ Social, and helping in the kitchen by going to the market in the early mornings.
Working in registration along with Wrestley Cinco, I didn’t think it was hard to get people to write their personal information on a piece of paper. What was hard was reading what they had written. Reading handwriting must be like reading each person’s personality—it calls for some effort at decoding and, certainly, some patience.
Coordinators for the flower arrangement were Gizelle Ellamil, JB Belga, and I. There were other young adults and teens who volunteered; others were “obliged” to volunteer. Each time, there would be two or three individuals who would go to market to choose and buy the flowers to be arranged for a given occasion. Sometimes arrangement was done on flowers bought the previous day. A goodly amount of care was given to how the flowers were placed. Flower arrangement is applying, on God’s creation, the gift of creativity He’s given us—a shadow of the perhaps “infinite” creativity He shall endow on us in the future.
Flower arrangements never fail to brighten up a room, to put a smile on people’s faces. The aesthetic joy arising from seeing lovely flower arrangements perhaps comes from the same wellspring that the joy in fellowshipping with brethren comes from.
Flowers remind us that sometimes we just need to take time to enjoy the simple pleasures, rather than the cares of life, for such “simple” pleasures remind us that God is present in our lives. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothed the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or, ‘What shall we drink?’ Or, ‘Wherewithal shall we be clothed?’ (For all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:28-33).
The general objective, I think, of flower arrangement is to achieve a sort of unity—a form of harmony among disparate elements—flowers of varied forms and colors. And the Feast of Tabernacles is meant, in a way, to foreshadow the Millennium, when the sons of God shall work, under Christ, to achieve a unity and harmony among disparate elements—the varied races and the multitude of nations.