Rejoicing in the Lord: Celebrating the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)
It’s no secret that fall is my favorite time of year. I love the crisp bite in the air. Picking apples and savoring the flavors of fall. But perhaps, my favorite part of fall are the fall feasts ordained by God in the Bible.
When we have created new holidays to celebrate (Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.), I don’t know why we hesitate to celebrating the holidays given to us by God Himself.
I know I’m in the minority of Christians who still celebrate these holy days, but I delight in the opportunity to proclaim what God has done to those around me. Unlike the Israelites, I am not bound by the law, but it is my privilege to reflect upon Gods faithfulness to His people throughout the course of history.
One thing I am confident in, God never does anything arbitrarily. Each and every ordinance of His is filled with divine purpose. Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets, is no exception.
So what is Rosh Hashanah?
God commanded the people of Israel to take the day as a holy memorial. They were to spend the day not working, but savoring His rest. During their assembly, they were commanded to blow the trumpets, or shofar, together.
Throughout the years, it has several traditional celebrations that have been added to this day of rest. We celebrate the harvest and God’s faithfulness in providing. When we blow the shofar, we remember how He has show up over and over again to defend us in battle and we celebrate His victories with praise. The trumpet sounded a battle call (Numbers 10) but was also to be blown by the priests. When we blow the shofar, we are both declaring war on the enemy and remembering the source of our strength, our God.
Because not only is it a day to blow the trumpets, Rosh Hashanah is also the day traditionally celebrated as the Jewish New Year. So on this day, we also remember the beginning of the world and God speaking everything into being..
Rosh Hashanah has become very special to my heart. In my Hawaii home, we invited friends from all walks of life to gather with us in praise. Much to their surprise, I even bought a shofar and we all took a turn proclaiming God’s goodness. We spent weeks planning a special menu filled with the traditional, sweet foods of Rosh Hashanah. We dipped apples in honey to remember God’s goodness. We ate the pomegranate seeds and someone even found a special sangria recipes which quickly became a crowd favorite.
A lot of the celebration is spent around the table, literally tasting and savoring the goodness of God.
Setting aside these days, it puts pattern and purpose to my life. Like remembering the church calendar, celebrating the feasts ordained by God puts structure to my days. When my time is my own, I’m prone to wander. When I take my life and structure my time around God’s works, my days are taken captive and surrendered to God.
So this Wednesday, I’ll stop and remember the goodness of God in my life. I will thank Him for His faithfulness in the past year and pray for the upcoming year. My table will be opened to friends and family and, together, we will partake in a feast.
In this act of feasting, we declare victory over our enemies and rejoice in God. As the sweetness of honey hits out tongue, we taste the goodness of God. We remember the words of Psalm 81, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
When we celebrate the Feast of Trumpets, we remember that His victory and goodness will follow us in this upcoming year. It is a dedicated day to stop and remember His goodness. We can gather and set a precedent of the year for a day of worship and reflection.
I would encourage you to consider organizing a celebration with your group today. Pull out some honey, apples, and pomegranates, if you have a shofar, (I found one on Amazon!) blow it loudly as a sign of victory and warfare against the enemy and consider using the liturgy below as a starting point for your celebration.
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