Thursday, September 09, 2010

A New Year

Today marks the beginning of the new year according to the Jewish calendar.  In keeping with the tradition of Rosh HaShana we stood at the bank of our creek with our children and grandchildren at sundown.  Paul Burton sounded the trumpet.  We each had a piece of bread as a reminder of our sin and after confessing it to one another we threw the bread into the water.  Annelise confessed that she did not like to obey when it was time to pick up toys.  Qavah confessed to being mean to Annelise yesterday when she did not help her get a napkin at lunch.  It was Paul Burton who took my breath away when he asked forgiveness for not trusting God when he didn't see evidence of His working. I have often struggled with the same sin.

There is no magic in throwing the bread into the water.  Our sins are not forgiven because we throw a token offering into the water.  Rather, we were reminded as we stood at the creek that we all have sin and fall short of the Glory of God.  Through confession, prayer, and the mercy of God, we were freed from a guilty conscience.  After the confession of sin came the eating of sweet apples and honey.  That tradition represents the hope that the coming year will be filled with sweetness.  It is interesting to me that confessing sin and forgiving one another ends with a sweet taste in the mouth.  While most Christians don't celebrate Jewish holidays, we have found it connects us to the human side of Jesus, Who being born a Jew, celebrated these traditions.  L'Shanah Tovah!  (For a good year!)

Numbers 29:1 On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets.