In ancient Israel, they didn't have holidays-they had feasts. Their feasts (seven of them each year) were all considered Holy Days because they were God ordained. Israel is the only Nation where God establish the holidays. Today at sundown Rosh HaShanah, one of the three fall Jewish feasts, begins and continues through sundown Tuesday. Rosh HaShana, literally "Head of the Year," is the beginning of the Jewish New Year. It is also known as the Feast of Trumpets, one of the two Holiest days of the year, and is celebrated with the blowing of the shofar to call God's people together. Although it is a solemn day of soul-searching, forgiveness, repentance and remembering God's judgment, it is also a joyful day of celebration, looking forward to God's goodness and mercy in the New Year. The Holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur begins at sunset on Wednesday, Sept 19, and ends at sunset the following day. Yom Kippur, also known as The Day of Atonement, is a day of repentance, prayer, and fasting. The ten days inbetween these two Holy Days are known as the Days of Awe, or Ten Days of Repentance, during which Jews reflect upon their actions over the past year and seek forgiveness for their transgressions. They are encouraged to seek out anyone they may have offended and to sincerely request forgiveness so that the New Year can begin with a clean slate. The common theme throughout these Holy Days becomes apparent- reflection and repentance. These actions, when done in earnest, will always get God's attention. When we draw near to Him, He promises to draw near to us.
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. James 4:7-8a.
Pastor Frank Dodson