This year Rosh Hashanah falls on Thursday, September 29th. The holiday is scrawled in tiny print on the bottom of calendars, but do you actually know what it celebrates?
In Hebrew, Rosh means “new” and Hashanah means “beginning”. Instead of celebrating the start of a new calendar year, this feast celebrates a new spiritual year. The Biblical name for this festival is Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets. Leviticus 23:24 refers to this day when it tells of blasting horns. Priests blew ram’s horns, called a shofar, as a trumpet to indicate the time of spiritual awakening. On this holiday, we come before God dressed in pure white robes, a time we canrenew our relationship with the Lord.
This day is set aside to glorify God’s sovereignty over all creation. Since God constructed the beautiful Earth and all in it, Rosh Hashanah celebrates the Earth’s birthday as well. What a great excuse to bake and eat a yummy cake.
Rosh Hashanah is also a time to contemplate our proper place in the world and our part in God’s master plan. Although we may seem insignificant when we compare ourselves to the vast universe, we have a unique part to play in the redemption of the world.
Finally, like the thief on the cross who asks Jesus to remember him, this holiday is a day to be remembered by God. The One who fashioned us so fearfully and wonderfully will remember our names when we someday approach the throne of grace.
I pray this Rosh Hashanah will be a celebration of new beginnings for you.
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