Yesterday-Sunday- Bryan and I went to King of kings assembly, a church here in Jerusalem. We haven’t been able to go to church too often because of all the field trips so it felt good to go again.
The pastor started by talking about Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year which we just celebrated this past month (there’s an earlier entry on it). The Biblical passage that talks about it is in Leviticus 23:24-25 “… in the seventh month on the first day you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.” That’s the only thing God says about this specific holy day. Why it’s there, what they’re suppose to remember- not really sure. (I have not studied this specifically I am trusting the Pastor)
Now, hang with me here. In 586 BC the Jewish people were exiled to Babylon for 70 years. After 70 years they were able to return to Israel and they came back with Babylonian culture. Including the fact that the new year starts in their seventh month on the first day, so the Jewish sages proclaimed this holy day from Lev 23:24 to be celebrating Rosh Hashanah- their new year, which they still do to this day. But, scripturally there’s no connection. We’re still not sure what this festival is celebrating (although now they’d say Rosh Hashanah).
Then the pastor turned to 2 Timothy 4:7-8 where Paul says he is about to die but that’s ok because he’s fought a good fight and there is for him a crown of righteousness which will be given to everyone who “longs for” the appearing of Jesus. The pastor then made the connection, maybe this holy day wasn’t to be understood until after Jesus came. Maybe this is a day set aside by God to remember the fact that Jesus is coming again. We take a day to remember that Jesus was born as a man- God with us. We take a day to remember His death and resurrection. But, how often do we set aside time to really think about the fact that He’s coming back?
He then went on to talk about how Jesus is not going to return for a bride that’s indifferent to His return. All bridegrooms want to know the bride is longing for him. So, do we long for the return of Jesus, of our bridegroom?
Now, was this festival intended to be a remembrance for the return of Jesus, maybe- maybe not. HOWEVER, I do think it’s a good idea to set aside time for actually thinking about the fact that Jesus is coming back, and maybe even longing for Jesus to come back. Bryan and I have not been focusing on that lately and the sermon got us thinking and talking about the subject again.
P.S.- Bryan started his Ulpan this morning (pronounced Ol-pahn). It’s an intensive modern Hebrew class. It will go Mon-Thurs 9 to 12 and he’ll have about an hour of homework every night with it. Add that to his work day and he is going to be a busy man for the next 7 weeks. The class will continue for the next three months but he’ll only be here for the first half.