Celebrating Rosh Hashanah as a Christian

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah as a Christian September 16, 2023

A Jewish boy stands on a sunny street blowing a shofar (ram's horn).
Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

Happy New Year! Or as some might say, Shanah tovah!


As we continue to follow the Biblical feasts through the year, we’re now at Rosh Hashanah. Also known as the Jewish New Year. 


This isn’t the same champagne popping, firework blasting holiday celebrated globally at midnight on 01/01, and I think I love it all the more for that, not being one for loud parties any way.


This isn’t so much about time passing, as it is about God actually creating time, and the world, and us.


With the blast of the shofar, a ram’s horn used as an instrument, we are transported back, back to days we can only imagine. Moses, Abraham, Joshua – and even earlier, to when God alone moved and spoke, calling to life the world and everything in it. 


Isn’t that simply amazing? 


God’s very breath being sent into our bodies to awaken us into a paradise, a natural world unmarred by sin.


Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7 NIV)


Later, Abraham called to sacrifice his one greatest treasure, the promised child – and as the knife point is glinting in the sunlight, about to arc down, about to complete the most difficult task he has ever faced, the sound of twigs snapping, the bleat of a ram, horns held fast in the thicket. 


“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12 NIV)


Further on, a whole troop of men circling a city in utter silence, only to unleash blasts of horns and shouts, the sounds crumbling an impenetrable fortress.


When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20 NIV)


I really recommend taking time during this feast weekend to read the entire books of Genesis, Joshua, and Revelations. 


Yes, I’ve gone New Testament now!


There is so much joy to be found in looking over all that God has done up to now, but there is so much excitement and hope in the reading of things to come.


We know Jesus has already defeated sin and death with His sacrifice on the cross and we know He’s coming back to cleanse the world and bring us home, but how fitting in a celebration of God’s love and redemption, to spend time meditating on the final redemption chapter. 


While Revelation is difficult to digest with so much destruction of all we’ve ever known as home, in all transparency I wouldn’t even read this chapter for many years out of fear, there is a joy for those who call Jesus, Lord. 


The wedding feast! 


Circular challah loaf on cutting board.
Image by Dan Cojocaru from Pixabay


I can just imagine, standing outside the massive doors waiting eagerly among friends and family. Then with the loud sounds of trumpets, the doors are swung open and light pours out with soft music the likes of which our mortal ears cannot comprehend, and there He is – Jesus, waiting for us, just as promised all those thousands of years ago.


Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:9 NIV)


This weekend, let’s celebrate all that God has done and will do!  


Pomegranate with shofar (ram's horn) in background.
Image by א פ from Pixabay


Shanah tovah friends!

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