The festival of Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets — the Hebrew name means “Head of the Year” — is observed for two days beginning on 1 Tishrei, the first day of the Jewish year. It is the anniversary of the creation of the world; the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman; it is a celebration of their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in God’s world — as Kings and Priests in the Kingdom of God. This holiday is about the great ingathering as the people of God; it’s about a new beginning; it’s about repentance; it’s about giving blessing to others; it’s about God’s Kingship and His rule!
Rosh Hashanah thus emphasizes the special relationship between God and humanity: our dependence upon God as our creator and sustainer, and God’s giving us the role as the ones who make His presence known and felt in His world. Rosh Hashanah is the day in Jewish tradition that all of the subjects of God’s Kingdom are gathered together, as if for review; tradition holds that from this day decisions are made as to who will be used in future plans, who will rise and who will fall, who will be increased, and who will prosper in the coming season.
The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which represents a call for the ingathering and the coming together of the people of God, but also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is a call to repentance — for Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Altogether, Jews listen to one hundred shofar blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah services.
Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets, is the first of the Holidays on God’s calendar that Jesus has not yet personally fulfilled. But we as Christians can celebrate this holiday with joy and anticipation, as we wait for the day, “when the trump will sound” and Jesus will gather His people together to begin His rule and reign on Earth. It is a time on God’s calendar for ingathering; for repentance and return; it’s a time to take stock and pray for increase and favor on God’s plans and purposes in our lives; it’s a time to cry out to God that He will establish and prosper His Kingdom in the Earth, in and through us! Let’s all join God’s people around the world as we celebrate the blessings of God, ordained in the seven feasts of the Lord!
(Sorry that this post is a little late. Rosh Hashanah began the evening of September 28, and lasts until Saturday evening October 1.)