This past weekend, my family and I started what I hope will be a continuing tradition of celebrating Rosh Hashannah. Rosh Hashannah, or the feast of trumpets, is one of the seven biblical feasts God commanded His people to celebrate in the Old Testament.
Each of these feasts had great spiritual significance and foreshadowed the coming Messiah. Although we are not bound to celebrate these feasts as believers in Jesus Christ, this is an excellent opportunity for us to enrich our understanding of the Bible and honor God's holy days.
Rosh Hashanah marks the start of the Jewish New Year, as the Hebrew calendar runs different then ours. This celebration marks the beginning of a new season with God. A spiritual New Year, if you will. The blowing of the trumpets is a call to introspection and repentance before the Lord.
This holiday is both exciting and solemn. As we think about the season that is coming to a close, a spiritual evaluation is in order. What sins have we been holding on to that could be hindering our spiritual growth? How do we want to grow specifically in this coming year? As we contemplate, we should ask for the Holy Spirit to reveal the answers to these questions. We may be surprised at what comes to the surface!
At sunset yesterday we took a walk down to a beautiful creek nestled in the woods near our home. As we sat beside the water, we contemplated this new beginning. We threw rocks into the water to symbolize the sins we would be leaving behind. Out with the old and in with the new.
As I hurled my rocks into the glistening water, I thought long and hard about what each one represented. The Lord had been revealing to me throughout the week very specific behaviors I would need to let go of before I could walk in the newness of the coming season. I prayed silently and asked for God's grace to empower me to move forward. One of those rocks was really hard to let go of, but as the last one left my hand a peace washed over me. A stillness. A newness.
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters... Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:16,18-19
We ended our day by blowing the homemade trumpets we had made earlier in the day and talking about the beauty of God's creation. In addition to the marking of a new spiritual year, Rosh Hashanah also celebrates the birthday of the world. This is a great way to include the littles in the celebration. My 4 year old had so much fun decorating and blowing his trumpet. It was a chance to celebrate the wonder of God's planet, and thank Him for all He has done. We even sang happy birthday to the world!
I can't wait to learn and share more about these biblical feasts with you all. If you already celebrate these holy days and have traditions with your family, please share in the comments below! If you would like a great resource to learn more for yourself, check out these books:
Praying blessings over you all in this beautiful season of new beginnings!