The counting of the omer. The omer was a traditional measure of a sheaf of grain. In this case, the first harvest is barley and the dedication of the first bits of the first harvest show a determination to entrust the fruit of the future harvest to the hands of G-d.
This practice is found in Scripture, within the Torah:
You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days… -Leviticus 23:15-16
You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for the L-RD, your G-d -Deuteronomy 16:9-10
It took seven weeks to reach the mountain (Sinai). The people of Israel departed Egypt on the 15th of Nissan (the first day of Passover); on the 6th of Sivan, celebrated ever since as the festival of Shavuot, they assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai and received the Torah from G-d.
So, our family finds itself each day saying a blessing and remembering the day.
In Church history, the feast of Shavuot is vaguely remembered as the day of Pentecost. Depending on your evangelical leanings, this will determine if it is celebrated or not.
This year we have decided to study the Psalm 67 word by word (wouldn’t Chuck Smith be proud!) in it’s original Hebrew. Not counting of course, written for so and so, to be sung to this melody, etc.
Elohim chanan barack paniym
“G-d, be merciful to us and bless us and make Your face…”
Each day we have spent time discussing the pictographic meaning of each word, the historical meaning and the way in which these concepts apply to our lives.
For example, chanan, or be merciful is comprised of three letters. Chet, nun and nun sophit. Chet: Doorway, Nun: Life, Nun: Life
So… G-d’s mercy gives us life and life? Or perhaps it is life and LIFE. Can G-d give life and then give it more abundantly?
I do believe I’ve read that somewhere. 🙂 As we count and measure these days, as we spend our time in prayer together we are seeing a beautiful harmony in where and how G-d has placed us.
Selah. Stop and think about it.
Hm… I think I will!