Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shana Tova

Today starts Rosh Hashanah. This is referred to in the Torah in Leviticus 23 as the feast of Trumpets. It is one of the Holy Convocations Abba commanded us to keep. It's fun! We lit our candles, said our prayers, and ate our food....lots of food! Then we joined a congregation about 3 hours away online. It was great!!!

Many of my non Jewish/Messianic friends will question why we do this? What's the big deal??? Let me explain. In Leviticus 23, it says that this is one of the feasts of YHVH. It's one of the times called a moedim, an appointed time. It begins the 10 days of awe...leading to Yom Kippur. Now some will quickly say we don't have to do this, Yeshua did away with this. After all, it's Old Testament. But I would say to you, please read the passage again....YHVH said it's to be an appointed time for all generations for all time. So then  you may say Yeshua did away with it. But Yeshua said Himself He didn't come to do away with the law, but to fullfill it. To take it to a higher level. The blowing of the shofars is to remind us to come back to the Father. It's to remind us that HE wants to meet with us. I know for myself, that if Abba said He wanted to meet with me, I'd want to be there!!!! It's a time in our busy,hectic lives when we get to stop, focus our hearts and thoughts on Him, on the marvelous things He's done for us through out history. It's a time we can come before Him and ask forgiveness for our sins (not that we can't on any other day, but this is a special time with Him), do some repentance (called Teshuva or turn things around) and know that we're forgiven, loved and special to Him.

On the first day of Rosh Hashana, there's a tradition of going to a body of moving water (a lake, a river, whatever) and throw pieces of bread on the water. It symbolizes our sins all being washed away. Now I realize that Yeshua did this for us with His blood. But if you've never tried it, I whole heartedly encourage you to try this. It's amazing!!! You stand on the side of the water, think about the things you did this past year that you'd really like to get rid of. Then take that bread, put those actions/words/activities/whatever figuratively on that piece of bread. Ask Father to forgive you for doing those things, and then (the best part!) throw them out on the water. Watch them for a minute or two and they'll usually sink to the bottom of the water. It's a physical picture of what happens when we pray for forgiveness. And I was amazed the first time we did this how freeing and releasing it is. I've know for many, many years that Papa would forgive me my sins if I asked Him. But seeing it happen, seeing them sinking to the bottom of the lake or river....whew!!! It's powerful. There's a verse that I can't find at the moment (of course) that says Papa takes our sins and places them at the bottom of the sea, as far as the east is from the west. This is just an example of that happening for our eyes and hearts to see. Try'll like it! ;-)

There's another tradition that says G-d opens three books on this day. Those that are tzaddik (righteous) are written into the book of the righteous. Those that are bad/evil are written into the book of the lost forever. (Don't want my name there!!!!) Those that are kinda on the fence, not really righteous but not really evil, are written in the third book and given 10 days to straighten up. Then on Yom Kippur the names are scribed to the book of the righteous for blessings and long life. Or to the book of the Evil and death both physical and spiritual is their reward. So many Jewish/Hebraic folks will greet each other with Shana Tova. This means may your name be written for good. So my wish for each of you my friends, is Shana Tova. May your names be written for good and may your new year be sweet. Shalom.