Sorry I didn’t post on New Year’s Day, but I was on the road, and without internet access. The start of a new year is always a time for reflection on life. Why am I thinking about this now? Because it is the start of a new year … in the Jewish calendar.
As some of you know, my mother is Jewish. Growing up I was privileged to be able to participate in some of the traditional holidays, especially Passover and Channukah. Rosh Hoshanah (Jewish New Year) started Friday night at sundown. In the Jewish calendar we are now living in the year 5770, and as of sundown tonight (Saturday) it is 1 Tishrei 5770.
In the Jewish culture, the start of the new year is a time for reflection, as in many cultures. The start of a new year seems to make us look back at the year behind, and look ahead to the year ahead. We contemplate what we would want to change, and resolve to make the year ahead a year where we become this hoped for image.
Judaism puts a different spin on this though. Just ten days after the new year begins is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This is the one day a year that the priest would offer the sacrifice for all of the people of Israel, and then enter the Holy of Holies to stand before God to intercede for the people. Some refer to these first days of the year as the “Days of Awe”. The focus is to be on the sins of the year before, and repentance before God. These days are to prepare the people for the communal repentance and sacrifice that is coming just a few days from now.
Our new year is coming (probably more quickly than most of us would like). I hope to use this “extra” new year to really focus on what God calls me to, and what I need to do to be prepared to face God “face-to-face” as it were, and repent of my sins. As a Christian, I know that I can approach God at any time and repent of my sins. This knowledge does not always work itself out in my life. Perhaps the constant availability makes me take it for granted, or maybe I just am too busy to take advantage of the Spirit and God’s constant presence and provision. I am painfully aware of how broken and hurt I am, and how short of His glory I fall on so many occasions.
I’m taking stock over the next week or so, and making a list (one I will probably actually write down) of the things God shows me that are holding me back from being who He created me to be. Care to join me on this journey? 🙂
Interesting side note: some Jews believe that Adam and Eve were created on 1 Tishrei in the year 1, and sinned the same day! Check out this site. Note that this group is one sect of Judaism, so this view may NOT be mainstream.