Thursday, September 9, 2010

L'Shana Tova!

Here I am…once again...apologizing for the blog absence. I was viciously attacked by a wave of ridiculousness and feeling overwhelmingly inadequate in my writing. It was brought on while trying to write some non-blog stuff...I was fully shut down in all things scribed…and so was avoiding the blog world too.

But...nothing like a new beginning to wake me up.

No…I don’t have a new job yet.

It’s a better new beginning than that.

It’s a God-ordained…God-declared…God-inspired…new beginning.

Numbers 29:1 ‘On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets.’

Happy New Year everyone! Rosh Hashanah is upon us…and the year 5771 has begun!

Yes…it may seem a little weird to declare a New Year on the first day of the seventh month…BUT…it’s really considered more of a Spiritual New Year. And who wouldn't want to be part of that?

I deeply love Rosh Hashanah. It’s probably my most favorite. (Ya…still pretty sure I say that about every holiday)

It’s the Feast of Trumpets, the time when the Shofar is sounded. And I looOOoove the sound of the shofar. I also think it’s one of the holidays I haven’t written about here…so I thought I’d do that today. (and hoping it solves my writing issue maybe)

Rosh Hashanah begins the season of The High Holy Days...which ends with Yom Kippur ten days later. It’s a joyful, yet serious time of celebration. I LOVE attending Rosh Hashanah services. It’s the one holiday that I make a priority to celebrate AT a Synagogue. The concept of the holiday, the prayers that are prayed, the songs that are sung…is such a prophetic picture of the Messiah. I am brought to tears every year at some point in the service…touched by the heart of God.

In the natural, Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the new harvest season. It’s considered a time of regathering. In the spiritual, it’s a time of reflection. A time of repentance. It’s a season to look at your faith and your spiritual condition and pray about what needs to be changed. It’s a time of asking for forgiveness and to be cleansed from your sins. A time of asking God to write your name in the book of Life…before judgment is determined on Yom Kippur. (I’ll write about Yom Kippur next week) It’s a time to look forward to the coming of Messiah…bringing that final declaration of deliverance and redemption.

It’s the time when the Shofar is sounded. The blowing of the shofar represents so many things. It’s a call to repentance. It’s used to gather the troops together for battle. And it was used in the ancient times…to hail the King.

Hmmmmm. Did you catch all that? That is the Jewish perspective of Rosh Hashanah. Those are the things they focus on as they celebrate the holiday God ordained for all of us. As Christians, it should be easy to see the significance of the festival. And if you really stop and think about it…it will put the return of Jesus into a whole new perspective too.

One of my favorite prayers is recited during the High Holy Days. It’s Avinu Malkeinu. That means, “Our Father, Our King”. The prayer can vary depending on the transliteration…but here’s the basic concept…

Our Father, Our King…Hear our prayer
Our Father, Our King…We have sinned before Thee
Our Father, Our King…Have compassion upon us & upon our children
Our Father, Our King…Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, & famine
Our Father, Our King…Cause all hate & oppression to vanish from the earth
Our Father, Our King…Inscribe us in the Book Of Life
Our Father, Our King…Let the new year be a good year for us

Our Father...Our King…an instrumental focus of the holiday. Another piece of the foundation God established and set into place from the beginning of time. His strategic, encompassing timeline never ceases to completely amaze me.

Again…this was just a bare-boned-basic picture. The depth and richness of the High Holy days is so very much more than what I could have possibly explained here. And you should definitely start searching out those pieces of His treasure for yourself.

So get your apples and dip them in honey and declare that you’ll have a sweet new year…and greet each other with L’Shanah Tovah! (Have a good new year!)