Tonight Begins Rosh Hashanah; Happy 5776!


L’Shanah Tovah! Tonight is Rosh Hashanah, the head of the Jewish year, and beginning of the year 5776. This day (Tishrei 1st) is also called Yom Teruah–the day of shouting (also called the Feast of Trumpets). I have noticed that Christian/Messianic congregations often focus on celebrating from the perspective of Yom Teruah as there is so much eschatological significance; but I would like to express the depth and beauty of this holiday from a different angle.

Rosh Hashanah looks back to remember the beginning–how God created the heavens and the earth. Yet even though Rosh Hashanah begins the new year, it is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar, because after the creation came a re-creation. After the world and calendar was established, God declared that Nissan–the month in which Passover occurs–would be the first month; a new beginning (Ex. 12:2). So, just as we were born, and then are spiritually re-born in Messiah Jesus, so was the earth created, then “re-created” in the month of the Passover Lamb and exodus! Only believers can appreciate these parallels.

Rosh Hashanah also begins the important ten day period of the High Holidays, or Days of Awe, culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). This is a time of serious reflection and re-centering. We remember that God is the Creator of the universe, high above all else. We remember who He has created us to be within the world. We go back to a pure foundation of intimacy in Him through repentance (tashlich): casting aside the old, sinful, and not-beneficial, and anticipating instead the sweetness of the Lord, which we are invited to taste and see (Psalm 34:8).

As we enter into this exciting new season I pray that you would be blessed, strengthened, and awed by the beauty and glory of our Lord, who has created and called you to exciting new things in Him.