Shanah Tovah means “Good New Year,” and is a common phrase used by someone observing Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish New Year.
Rosh Hashanah is more than just a New Year’s celebration, though. To our spiritual forefathers, it commemorates the day God created the universe in the month of Tishrei.
For Believers, the holiday is also significant because it is a time in which we can appreciate the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith.
Here are five ways Believers can observe the New Year like their spiritual forefathers:
Renew Your Covenant with the Lord
Your spiritual forefathers remembered the covenant promises of the Lord and looked forward to the year ahead. These appointed times renewed their faith.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”—Romans 12:2
Rosh Hashanah is a time to remind ourselves of the power of our Creator, as we celebrate the anniversary of God’s creation of Adam and Eve.
- “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”—Colossians 1:16-17
- “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”—Genesis 1:26
God calls us to be good stewards of His land. We can honor Him by caring for the creation around us—just as He called Adam to do in the Eden.
- “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”—Genesis 2:15
Sweeten the Deal with Traditional Symbolic Food!
- Break Bread with God
One of the most iconic foods of Rosh Hashanah is challah—a spiral-shaped, braided bread that represents the circles of life.
Through good and bad, all roads of life eventually circle back to God. The most important thing is to ask the Holy Spirit to lead you down God’s divine path for you this New Year!
- Sweeten the Deal
Apples are also eaten with honey to sweeten the beginning of the New Year.
Treat yourself and your family to something sweet that will remind you to cherish God’s appointed times, and those special moments when you feel especially connected to God.
By starting the year off sweet and focused on the Lord, you may find it easier to practice self-control and turn your mind, will, and emotions over to the Lord.
- Renew Your Spirit
Another tradition of Rosh Hashanah is to cast off your sins by throwing them into a river—so you may rid yourself not of the lesson, but of the burden of guilt.
Similar to how we baptize ourselves to cleanse our sins, we use immersion as a renewal for the year.
Pray with Mahzor in Mind
The prayer book for the High Holidays is called the Mahzor, which is made up of three prayers that were traditionally used as a guide during High Holy Days.
Malkhuyot recognizes the sovereignty of God. This is a time for Believers to remind ourselves of the might and power of our Lord and submit ourselves fully to Him.
Take a look outside and remind yourself that all the beautiful creation you see, everything you’ve ever seen, studied, wondered about—it was all created and designed by our Lord.
By His graciousness, we can stand in awe of all that was made, knowing even in His mighty sovereignty that He still remembers the numbers of hairs on our heads.
Zikhronot is about remembering past deeds. Whether good or bad, courageous or cowardly, God remembers all that we have done. And God is always testing us, using those experiences to bring us closer to Him.
Through the storms, He uses the waves to bring us safely under the refuge. He is your strong tower.
- “The name of the Lord isa strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”—Proverbs 18:10
As Believers, we have a call to care for those around us. May the Lord humble our hearts as we see the needs of others.
- “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did itto one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”—Matthew 25:40
God blesses those who have the heart to give, as well as forgive.
- “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”—Matthew 6:14-15
It is important to find ways in your heart to forgive those who may have hurt you, to let go of bitterness and resentment, and to hold tight to the promises of the Lord.
Celebrate the Jewish Roots of Your Faith
A wonderful way to start your year is to not only reflect on what you’ve overcome in your past, but also look into the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. When you study the deeper meaning of what the Lord asked our spiritual ancestors to do, it brings to light the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. You will experience Him in fresh, new ways.
Join us for our Rosh Hashanah celebration September 9th, 2018 at 6:00 PM CT. Registration is FREE but required due to limited seating. Click here for more information and to register today!