Preparations For A New Year

December 30, 2021

Exodus 40.1-11

1 Then the Lord said to Moses: “Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month. Place the ark of the covenant law in it and shield the ark with the curtain. Bring in the table and set out what belongs on it. Then bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. Place the gold altar of incense in front of the ark of the covenant law and put the curtain at the entrance to the tabernacle.

“Place the altar of burnt offering in front of the entrance to the tabernacle, the tent of meeting; place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it. Set up the courtyard around it and put the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard.

“Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy. 10 Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy. 11 Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them.

There is a Biblical name for the first day of the year: Yom Teruah.  It means the “Day of Shouting” or “Day of Blasting”.  The more modern term is Rosh Hashanah, simply New Year.  Although celebrated at a different time of the year, I was September 7, 2021 and will be September 26, 2022.  They use a different calendar than ours.

I think the Day of Shouting or Blasting may be more fitting.  It fits with how some people bring in the New Year in our society.   But as we see these pieces of the tabernacle being brought in and set up it is with honour and awe on the one side, but it is to be celebrated as well.  God’s dwelling is in our midst.

Celebrating a New Year is an opportunity for restarting.  Israel is at a new beginning.  Not just the year, but in their being a free nation of people, about to take over the land God has promised to them.  They are at a new beginning of being able to worship God as he has shown them with the place and sacrifices he has given to them.

We sit at the time where we are about to celebrate a New Year.  An opportunity for a restart.  Doing better where we have failed.  Doing different where we have been wrong.  Being God’s people when we have been following the ways of the world and the deceptions of a world that is in opposition to God.

As we are ready to begin this year we have high hopes.  We likely all hope for an end to illness and restrictions.  We want things to be better – not just for us, but for all.  We want to see people coming to follow God in his grace.  We want to see our relationships renewed/restored.  We see the New Year as a time of opportunity.

What will we each do to make this coming year different?  What will be different for us in our life of faith?  How will we take part in the building of God’s kingdom in the places we live?  How will the New Year be an opportunity to focus on God and our place with him?  Let’s make this a year of being the people God has called us to be.

SongI Will Follow

Prayer

Lord of time and new beginnings, give us good judgment to know what new things to do for you this year, and grant us the inner strength to finish each job we begin; so may we fully know the joy of doing your will; so may your kingdom come on earth — through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

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