It doesn’t seem right to welcome the Jewish New Year without writing a post, even though most of you don’t have a Jewish background. The thing is, jokingly, I always tell people that every day is a New Year—for someone.
When I think about celebrations and dates, I am reminded of Rich. He remembered dates so well. He even remembered and celebrated the day I sent him an email with a smile and asked if he wanted to be friends. He would come up to me and wish me a happy anniversary for so many special days that he had marked out in a well memorized calendar. I would laugh with surprise, but hidden behind my laugh was the wonder that he would remember so many of those days, and he always remember them before I did. I am a poor “rememberer.” Even for my closest friends and my Chinese god-children—if I don’t have a reminder set up for me, I forget when their birthdays are. I remember the month, but rarely the date.
Remembering is Biblical
So often we talk about what we remember and what we wish we could forget. We are thankful for what God forgets—our sin when we repent and turn to Jesus our Savior. But I wonder if take the time to be thankful for what God remembers.
Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that every time we speak about our wonderful God to each other, God is listening, noting what we say, and writing it down.
Malachi 3:16-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
“16 At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Yahweh and had high regard for His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of Hosts, “a special possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. 18 So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”
For those that are His, rather than keeping track of our sins, He is keeping track of our talking about Him. It means so much to Him, when those He loves respond by sharing with others His goodness to us.
The Jewish Holidays are a Kind of Remembering
The Jewish holidays are different kind of remembering. They mark something that God had done for His people, and we, His people respond by remembering Him in turn through our feasting (and in Temple times, also through the sacrifices).
Yet the Feast of Trumpets, celebrated these days as Jewish New Year is not associated with any particular why—only a gathering of the people and the sounding of trumpets. A special meeting and celebration that marks the beginning of the Days of Awe and Yom Kippur… the Day of Atonement.
But whether or not we understand this holiday (and I’ve written about it a lot in some of my other posts), this year, I am realized something else. The Feast of Trumpets, if nothing else, is an opportunity for us to gather together, and talk to one another about the wonders of our great God. It is an opportunity, as we feast and celebrate and sound the trumpets, to remember the one who gave Himself for us, who paid the price for our sin so that we could be with Him forever.
But if every day is a New Year…
I told you that jokingly I tell others that every day is a New Year… for someone. I had just written a short Facebook post wishing my friends and family a Happy New Year… of course, immersed as I am in the culture here in Israel, I forgot that most of my family isn’t even Jewish and have no idea that tomorrow is a New Year.
Maybe you didn’t know it either… but perhaps each of us should take the example of the Feast of Trumpets to make every day a New Year in our hearts. No matter what struggles we’ve faced or that lays ahead, our God is a good God. Let’s remember His goodness to us, in every situation. Let’s share with someone else an answered prayer, or something we are thankful for. Let’s encourage each other to keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our Salvation… and remind each other that Jesus really is coming soon.
Every day is a new year – a new opportunity to start over, because “His mercies are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23). A new opportunity to remember the GOOD things He has done for us, rather than beat ourselves up over a past we can’t change. And joy in knowing that our remembering is written in His book, and we are His.
Have a sweet and blessed New Year – Shana Tova!