This post is a little more serious in nature, and in the spirit of blogging, part two is above part one. This post has nothing to do with football, but everything to do with this “time of the year.” It is Rosh Hashana, the head of the year. You have probably seen it on your calendar and never paid it much attention, which is a shame. I preached a sermon about it this past Sunday and I invite you check that out if you want some more details about it.
I was more fascinated by a blog I read today from FFOZ about this holiday. It is a perspective that I hadn’t given much thought lately. The fact is that our way of dating things (any calendar) is very much an arbitrary thing. For instance, this day is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Man from a Jewish point of view and this marks year 5771 since the creation of the world on that calendar. This day is also commemorated with the blowing of trumpets or shofarim. I am looking forward to celebrating with our own church family as I try again to blow the 100 blasts laid out for the celebration on my own shofar, including the final triumphant blast of the “last trump,” a term which most Christians will no doubt recognized from the NT.
Putting some of that aside, we all like the idea of new beginnings or getting a fresh start. I still remember a line from the movie Forrest Gump uttered by one of the hookers who came to Lt. Dan’s apartment on New Year’s Eve:
Don’t you just love New Year’s?
You can start all over.
Everybody gets a second chance.
We all recognize that life is full of new beginnings, but sometimes we limit ourselves to those that are arbitrarily chosen for us. Life is cyclical and some of those cycles create their own set of new beginnings because in a cycle an ending of one means the beginning of another. Certainly God works with us in this manner more often than we realize. We frequently cover the same ground while learning new things from the journey. Scripture is like that and the Torah reading cycle highlights this pattern. I have spent a couple of years now working through the reading cycle systematically, if still imperfectly, and have been amazed at all that God has shown me during that time.
Back to an earlier point, and one that is made in the post by FFOZ, we all mark time from significant events in our own lives. I celebrate my birthday (there is another one just around the corner) along with the birthdays of my wife, children, family and loved ones (one of those was just this past day in fact). We mark the passage of time since these events first occurred. We have the occasional need to place a marker in time at a significant event of other kinds as well (like the stone that Samuel placed in 1 Samuel 7:12, marking a literal place in space and time). For me this is the most wonderful time of the year, it is a time of renewal and beginnings.
L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu [May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year.]