Rosh Hashanah commenced the New Year—literally the head of the year. It is a fresh start, a brand new year. It also is the beginning of the Days of Awe, (Yamim Noraim), or the Days of Repentance, which will culminate on Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement. It is a season of chronos, interrupted by a kairos—an appointed time. Jews worship in the synagogue, and break bread with loved ones—at home and within the community of faith.
The Days of Awe are filled with wonder and worship. They are days for self-reflection, fasting, and prayer; they are solemn days. The Yamim Noraim are meant to set the tone for the coming year. Traditionally, this is a time of reconciliation with others. Reconciliation and Reflection.
Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering (Matt. 5:23-24).
So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless (Eph. 5:26-27).
But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world (1 Cor. 11:31-32).
YHWH (Yahweh) is God’s sacred covenant Name. Adonai and Elohim were heard among the nations, but Yahweh is the name unique to His people; by this Name God identified Himself with His people. He desires to dwell with His people. The Creator of the universe desires to make His abode in our hearts. I am brought alive by this, and it should stir in us the Awe and Wonder that He deserves—He wants to be with us. He loves us that much.
Yom Kippur is approaching next week, though I don’t keep the Jewish festival of The Days of Awe, I feel a nudging in my heart to spend this week in self-reflection, fasting, and prayer. I will search my heart: “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:1-2).
I pray for a revival to restore the Awe of God to His beloved, precious, blood bought Church, and that His people would come alive with Awe and Wonder at the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I pray His Word would come alive in the hearts of His people, afresh and new. That our eyes will be opened and our hearts awakened again by His Word.
They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32).
Yahweh, I want to be in awe of You. I want to fall in love with You and Your Word. I pray that it wash and cleanse me of all that breaks Your heart. Open the eyes of our hearts Adonai, to all that Your Word reveals about You. Let us be in awe of You again.
Rest this Sabbath in Reconciliation, Reflection, Awe and Wonder.
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