26 September 2010

Rosh Hashana

The Lord is doing mighty things in our lives. We've been learning about Rosh Hashana over the past few days, and it's been a meaningful time of family worship. If you aren't familiar with the purpose and meaning behind Rosh Hashana, I encourage you to click on the link or to google it. We'll be learning about Rosh Hashana until we celebrate Yom Kippur next week. So far, our family is being blessed in our new found knowledge!

I know that some of you who are familiar with the Jewish calendar are thinking about the fact that both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur have already passed, which is true. We have been celebrating these feasts as we reach them in our curriculum rather than when they are on the actual calendar. I don't really believe that the Lord is offended by this. Not being used to observing the Biblical feasts, we weren't prepared for them in time. Praise the Lord for this freedom which Jesus provided for us on the cross!

More than anything, as we study these feasts (and we've only really scratched the surface), I find myself wondering why most modern day Christians don't celebrate these Biblical feasts. I'm not saying that the Lord is going to lead us to begin observing them annually, but maybe He will. I understand the freedom that we have in Christ, but I am also learning and understanding that these feasts are designed to help us to set aside time to worship the Lord. Why wouldn't I want to instill such things into the hearts of my children and into my own heart? 

I thought about this the other day as we were planning our Rosh Hoshana feast (I planned the meal, and Eric planned the spiritual instruction and worship times), Of course, the early Christians would have no understanding of Jewish customs, and that lack of knowledge would have been passed down generation upon generation to us. I just don't completely understand why, once we've learned of these feasts and their purpose, why don't we include them in our lives?

I believe a lot of people would say that they don't have time. That excuse makes me cringe. Time is something we all have. Most of us just aren't very good stewards of our time. We crowd our calendars with sports, civic activities, music lessons, dance class, church activities, work, and more to the point that we don't have any time left to teach the most important things to our families, our first place of ministry. I'm not saying that any of us should stop all of those things because they are good things, but if you don't have time to spend worshiping the Lord together as a family on a regular basis, then, yes, you should stop doing something or maybe even several somethings to make sure that you have time to stop and worship the Lord. We have to work hard to keep this priority in our house. Sometimes we say no to an activity like basketball season or a church activity in order to keep our priorities in order the way God would desire them to be. It's definitely a challenge, but it is an effort which God has blessed time and time again. Sometimes, we have to not do something which we know to be fun and exciting, but the rewards of knowing when to say yes and when to say no are endless.

I guess this post isn't so much about Rosh Hashana as it is about what I have started to toss around in my head. This post is by no means conclusive. I'm still learning, praying and trying to figure out what the Lord has for me to learn from this experience. I'm going to be counting on my husband to help me sort these things out and to lead our family where he believes we should go.

Today, we took the kids to a local park and had a time of worship together in a ceremony known as Tashlich. This is part of our observance of Rosh Hashana as well. The point of this simple ceremony is to cast off the previous year's sins in preparation of the new year. Eric and I took turns reading scripture and both explained the purpose of what we were doing to the kids. Then we cast stones, while thinking of specific sins in our lives, into the water. 

The author of the book we're reading on Biblical feasts described this ceremony and how it made her realize that, just as she will never be able to find those stones again, the Lord casts our sins away from us once and for all as well. They're gone forever. I thought that was a powerful lesson for us to learn. We often hold onto the guilt and shame of our sins rather than moving forward just as the Lord would desire us to do. It felt good to let go of those things, to worship through music and pray together.

I encourage you to begin studying new things in your faith walk, whether or not you choose to study Biblical feasts. Let the Lord guide you in what He has for you. He will show you indescribable things. Each time I begin my quiet time with the Lord, I say a simple prayer before opening my Bible. "Father, show me something new and beautiful today as I read your word." He always does. That is my prayer for you as well. May God show you something new and beautiful each and every day as you seek His will for your life!

1 comment:

  1. Cammy Ruttencutter Brown via FB:

    I was wondering why you thought the early Christians would not have understanding of the feasts. It wasn't until the Nicean counsel a couple centuries after Christ died that the Roman emperor gathered the differing church leaders together t...o dispute whether to celebrate Easter (a service worshiping the queen of heaven, the goddess Eshtar) or celebrate Passover as secular documents and the Bible state the apostle John celebrated. Unfortunately the Roman emperor decided to meld the pagan celebrations with christian names to gain political support of both groups of people. Because Christ and the disciples kept the holy days and didn't keep anything else, the feasts were the only thing the early church knew.
    I hope I haven't offended you by asking.......delete this if I have and accept my apology. I enjoy reading your blog posts.
    By the way, I type this as we are keeping the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth) and I must get ready for church services now. Have a great day!! :)