Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thinking & Planning for a Rosh Hadesh.

Return to us, Adonai & we shall return; renew our days as of old. Lamentations 5:21

Rosh Hadesh. This is where we have decided to start with our exploration of the old testament festivals. To put it bluntly I am floundering.

I'm used to having loads of different ways to make connections because I have always read widely & see quickly how things interconnect because of it. Not this time. I'm holding all these strands in my hands with not the least idea of what to do with them. It's not that I don't understand what I have read. I understand all too well but I have no idea how to apply it. At times like this I really wish I knew someone else on this journey because I'm not innovative. I can take what I know & see & twist it into new shapes but making something from random bits is really hard for me.

So where am I? Rosh Hadesh was given equal footing with the Sabbath in the O.T. It was an important festival that waxed & waned with the uncertain fortunes of the Israelite tribes. One of the themes of Rosh Hadesh is the redemption of Israel through the coming of the Messiah. In Isiah 66:22 ~ 23 we read that when the Messiah returns so will Rosh Hadesh.

I think one of my problems is that I was expecting a bit of glib scholarship & cursory reading would get me by & I can see already that it will not suffice. Not by a long shot. The more I study the more I can see I will have to approach this in much the same way that I would a sermon. [Just breathe if you don't like women in the pulpit.] I am going to have to study & meditate. I am going to have to go before the Lord in prayer & fasting, seeking His will, seeking His guidance, waiting for Him to show me what He wants. Patience is not one of my virtues. This is the sort of thing that can make me a cot case faster than you can say Kalamazoo.

It starts all the way back in Genesis 1:14. The Hebrew for seasons is mo'ed/mo'edim meaning Adonai's appointed times by invitation ~ the festivals! The same word is used in Leviticus 23:1/2 when speaking explicitly about the feasts. These celebrations were ordained to bless us & there is rampant symbolism in Rosh Hadesh, which is the festival of the new moon: new beginnings; God meeting with His people; a time to let go of the past; a sign of hope; a reminder that our God restores & renews. One rabbi I was reading pointed out that the quote from Lamentations was not a plea for things to be restored as they once were, which is impossible, but a reminder that God has redeemed/renewed us before & can do so again.

Intellectually I get all this. Really, I do, but what do I do with it? How do I plan a celebration that is meaningful, relevant & incorporates all the things it should? Uh~huh. I shall be pondering this for the next month, won't I? Praying, waiting on the Lord ~ having a mini~meltdown because it's always the practical bits that stump me. They're the bits I don't like. I am happy to accumulate knowledge like a broody hen on a clutch of someone else's eggs but the chicks that eventually hatch flummox me!

Dearest has suggested communion. I have a list of relevant bible readings. I have the 13 principles of the Jewish faith with a Christian response ~ too long & too rich a meat to do all of, all at once, for beginners. I have a meal planned. It is tying it all together into a harmonious, united flow that centres our thoughts on Christ & honours Him in the way He wants rather like a church service that is going to take my time. I will let you know how we do. We are hoping to be able to plan for the 24th of next month, which is a Saturday & will allow us to invite others to worship with us for the evening. Some times I think I must be mad.


The HoJo's said...

You've left me behind on this one, but I agree, mad, a rather nice kind of mad


seekingmyLord said...

I await with bated breath!

Anonymous said...

I'll be interested to see how you pull it all together.

MamaOlive said...

So this will be a monthly special service, kind of like we have communion on the first Sunday of the month, except following the lunar month instead of the calendar month?
This 'meeting'-based-on-a-meal thing is a bit strange to me. That's what Passover is like - you eat a bite, pray, wash hands, drink, eat something, tell a story, drink... In Christian circles we like to do all our praying, preaching, and eating in big chunks, separated from each other. Hmm. It would seem we are too quick to divide the secular and the sacred.

Do let us know how it works out.

Ganeida said...

MamaO: what a lovely clear mind you have! You have nailed exactly where I was getting caught.. Yes, it is meant to be all mixed together & I was trying to separate all the various strands. That should make things so much easier.