Tonight, September 15, 2023 begins the observance of Yom Teruah. For Jews and Christians, this is a 25-hour opportunity to practice what we will do on the day Messiah returns. I’m not big on manmade rituals or traditions, but if G-d gives us a specific time to do something, I’m thinking it’s a pretty good idea to go ahead and do it. (see 1 Corinthians 15:50-56; Leviticus 23:23-25 & Numbers 29:1).
These past few years have been rough. We have all had more than our fair share of struggles – either in our health, jobs or with the people we hold most dear. Yet in every challenge, there is the opportunity to emerge smarter, stronger, more whole – even when we feel like vital pieces are being torn away.
No, I am not saying we should just count our remaining blessings! What I’m telling you is that there is MORE, BETTER, HAPPIER – if we will let ourselves reach for it.
Beginning with the lockdowns in 2020, our eyes were opened. Many things we took for granted weren’t what they seemed. And the routine things in life were no longer guaranteed.
Maybe it was that first Thanksgiving and being told we couldn’t get together with our families. Or maybe it was the disappointment of Christmas and not being able to spend the holiday with our children. Whatever started it, this season just isn’t the same anymore. Maybe you can relate.
As a result, I have learned to ask “why?” To question even the most obvious things. Take Christmas, for example. Why do we exchange presents? And why do we set up a tree in the middle of our living rooms?! If you stop and think about it for a second, that is kind of weird.
It’s not the intention of this post to get into what I discovered about the “why” of things we used to do so freely. The point is to share new things we haven’t tried. Things we have been missing out on. Yes, there is MORE. There is BETTER. There is HAPPIER. And lucky for us, it’s spelled out in the Bible – so you don’t have to take my word for it.
Let’s make a pact to look at Scripture with fresh eyes. Forget what you were told, and even what you think you were told, but can’t exactly remember “why.”
Read Leviticus and Numbers. The Good News (pun intended), is that, as Christians, we don’t need to make sin offerings. Jesus paid the price for all of our sins – past, present, and future! But does that mean we are exempt from the Ten Commandments – or any of the other rules G-d set out? I would say “no.”
IMHO, Jesus said “no” too when He said:
While we are not under the law, we have the privilege of choosing whether (and who) we will follow. I choose to follow Jesus. I want to do what He did.
Below are a few links if you’re interested in reading more about Yom Teruah (from reliable sources). Note: It is NOT the same thing as Rosh Hashanah, though many observe them simultaneously today.
The next ten days, including Yom Kippur, are the perfect opportunity to turn away from old ways and to embrace what G-d has in store.
Join us for a Bible reading plan if you would like to work through this together: