because I’m thinking it too: “Where did the summer go?” Here we are already in the month of September. As the month unfolds, I always reflect on the rest of the year to come. I never knew why, but September and October have always been my favourite months of the year. And it has nothing to do with the fact that September 12th is my birthday. I just enjoy that feeling of newness and it seemed to engulf me every single season.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve always felt inside that September brought with it new things. Maybe because it was the start of a new school year. Maybe because the hot summer days would be officially behind us and the new season officially began in September. Perhaps it was the fact that I am somewhat excited about the new colours appearing on the trees soon.
I always loved the crisp, cooler air in the morning and the need to wear a sweater. I love the fall harvest festivals, the early nightfall, and the apple and pumpkin picking. To me, this was my New Year. I always expected new things in my life, and oddly enough God has never let me down with all new experiences.
I waited upon the Lord for almost 4 weeks as to what I was going to write about for this month’s article. Even right up to the very moment of typing this out I had no clue where God was going to lead me. Then suddenly I had a thought come to mind to write about how September makes me feel.
I didn’t know why I would write about something personal like this, and then it occurred to me that I should do some research about the significance of September in the Jewish calendar. The average person, using the Gregorian calendar to track their days, will agree that January 1st is the beginning of the New Year. Just like everyone else, I knew that New Year’s Day happened every January 1st and I celebrated it just like the masses. Yet even at a young age, I always felt that September was the start of my personal New Year.
I discovered that the Jewish people celebrate their New Year on a day called Rosh Hashanah, which took place near autumn and lasted for two days. Because the Jewish calendar doesn’t line up with the Gregorian calendar, Rosh Hashanah doesn’t always fall on the same day, and sometimes it usually falls in the month of October. After further study it became noticeably clear that Rosh Hashanah was celebrated primarily in the month of September. In fact, this year it is celebrated September 13-15th.
In Jewish culture, the Talmud refers to Rosh Hashanah as Yom Teruah, or the Day of Trumpets. It says in Leviticus 23:24 that it was a day of remembrance with a blowing of the trumpets (shofar). See also Numbers 29:1.
What exactly are the Jewish people remembering? There is extensive amount of information on this and there are a number of reasons for the blowing of the shofar. In a nutshell, they remember the creation of the world, repentance, a time of renewal, the special relationship between God and man, and the Day of Judgment— just to name a few.
Rosh Hashanah is the official start of a 10 day period that leads up to the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). During this time traditional foods tend to be sweet; this include apples dipped in honey, pomegranate, figs, raisins, and a sweet bread.
25 The fat of the sin offering he shall burn on the altar. 26 And he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. 27 The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall be carried outside the camp. And they shall burn in the fire their skins, their flesh, and their offal. 28 Then he who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. 29 “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. 30 For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. 31 It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever. 32 And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father’s place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments; 33 then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year.” And he did as the Lord commanded Moses (Leviticus 16:25-34).
Modern day scholars that study dates, celebrations, celestial happenings, and astronomy all indicate that the birth of Christ may have taken place at or near the time of Rosh Hashanah. How interesting is that? Our salvation born into this world at the time of the New Year, to bring something new to all of mankind!
Jesus, our atonement, came into this world to give us all something new. Back then, as the Jewish people celebrated a reconnection with God, He did something even greater by coming into this world to alter the course of our relationship with Him forever. His atonement for our sin gives us the chance to experience new beginnings.
After doing this study it finally became clear to me that September has been, and will be for years to come, a reminder of new beginnings. Let us all remember the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made as He came down from heaven and impacted the nature of our relationship with God the Father.
If you pay attention to the media these days, especially those who are keen on the prophetic side of things, everyone is in a state of expectancy for something new to happen between Rosh Hashanah and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). No-one can know for sure what that is, and speculation is high. But one thing is certain, God will do something new, and we as Christians should be excited about what God has planned for all us as the New Year in Rosh Hashanah approaches.
May his blessing come upon you in a huge way this New Year and may your harvest be plentiful. Please comment below and tell us what new thing God is doing for you this New Year.
Check out Joshua Ray’s book "Your Church Won't Teach You This: Get the Inside Scoop on Interpreting the Bible" on amazon.com. For further reading about renewing the mind Joshua has published a book series on amazon.com called “Renewing the Mind.” Look for his book online right now.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Faith News Niagara and Joshua Ray are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.
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Leviticus 23:23–25, NKJV
I waited upon the Lord for almost 4 weeks as to what I was going to write about. Then suddenly I had a thought come to mind.
23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’”
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