When we began planning use of THE STORY in our congregation’s life we started with looking at Resurrection Sunday on the calendar in 2014 and counted the weeks back to determine when to start in 2013. Actually, Meredith figured that out for us, go Meredith. At the time it had not occurred to me that our resulting start date, this Sunday the 8th of September, would be the first Sunday of the Jewish New Year!
Rosh Hashanah (literally “head of the year” in Hebrew) is the Jewish holiday celebrating the start of a new year for the Jews. It is the only Jewish holiday that is universally celebrated over two days. This year it begins in just a few hours at sundown this evening, the 4th of September, and it ends at sundown on Friday the 6th.
Rosh Hashanah, in Jewish tradition, is also considered the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in God’s world.
Rosh Hashanah emphasizes the special relationship between God and humanity: our dependence upon God as our creator and sustainer, and God’s choice of us as the ones who make His presence known and felt in His world.
Rosh Hashanah is the season of God’s judgment, a season in which the Jewish people believe God considers each person and if their name will be in the Book of Life. In Jewish tradition it is understood that “Each year on Rosh Hashanah, “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die . . . who shall be impoverished, and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.” But this is also the day we proclaim G‑d King of the Universe.”
Praise God that we can know that our names are forever written in the Lamb’s Book of Life because of the saving love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Lk. 10:20, Rm. 10:9)
So this Sunday begins a new year for all of us in the First Presbyterian Church family. A new year of Experiencing the Father’s Heart. A new year of being Engaged, Equipped and Empowered. A new year of finding our stories in God’s Story.
It’s going to be a great year!