If, as a Christian, you’re new to celebrating the Biblical Feasts, take a deep breath.
The easiest route to take is over-doing it – or worrying that you’re not “doing it right” – both of which will rob the incredible Joy of this season!
Rosh HaShanah (The Head of the Year) is also known as Yom Teruah (The Day of Trumpets) and it is the fifth Feast in the cycle of seven Feasts, and it is the first UNFULFILLED Feast. Jesus already historically and prophetically fulfilled Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost.
According to Leviticus 23, the only actual commandments for Rosh Hashanah are to be joyful, listen to the sounds of the shofar, and rest from your work! Easy enough! All other outward traditions that we see have been added over the years as man’s interpretation and means of celebrating. So all that to say, take it easy – enjoy the sweetness of the Season, and the blessings of Christ as He calls us back to Him!
We’ll be getting more into the history and prophetic meanings behind each of the Fall Feasts as the next 2 weeks unfold, but for now, here is a little glimpse at how we (personally) celebrate The Day, as well as some ideas that you can easily incorporate…
Friends wish one another a sweet and happy New Year, which is often symbolized with apples and honey. We love to make this yummy honey sweetened apple cobbler in the crock pot for (an easy!) breakfast on Rosh Hashanah. And maybe the day after. And for dessert during the week. You get the idea….
It’s customary at Rosh HaShanah to eat a “crown challah” – challah bread that is braided but shaped into a circular crown; a representation of God’s Kingship over Heaven and Earth, and His Reign that was and is and is to come. (Of course, you can never go wrong by incorporating apples and honey into the bread! )
Choose a simple apple themed craft, and talk about the sweetness of the Lord as he walks with us over the next 10 Days of Awe (leading up to Yom Kippur).
Don’t forget the shofars! (these are the “trumpets” blown to wake us from our spiritual slumber and call us to return to the Lord.) It’s worth the investment to find a real one, but the prices vary. You can find larger ones here but there are also plastic versions for the kiddos that are usually much easier to blow! Don’t worry about the noise – this is one day where the incessant blowing of the trumpet is actually quite appropriate and even commanded!
Give gifts to friends and family or make special stationary to send them cards – both as a blessing for the Season (and the celebration of the New Year) and as a fun way to introduce your extended family to the Feasts!
If you’re celebrating the Feasts with little ones around, don’t forget to incorporate them as well! This plush set is a great way to have them interact with all of the Feast elements!
But beyond any of these fun craft or celebratory ideas and foods, spend some time with your kids diving into the meanings behind Rosh Hashanah. Read through the story of Abraham and Isaac, which talks about a sacrifice that seems unbearable, but was done with a willing heart. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe – the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur where God will one day come back and judge the earth and issue a call to bring our hearts back to Him. It is the season of testing and great rejoicing, so talk to your children about the blessing of turning our hearts back to God and running after Him, even if it means great sacrifice. Read through Genesis 21-22, and also Numbers 29:1-6, 1 Samuel 1:1-2:10, Jeremiah 31:2-20, Joel 3:9-16, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:9 and Titus 2:11-14.
Remember, the goal is not the letter of the Law, but the Spirit of the Feast! Don’t worry about getting it “right” – simply enjoy the messages of renewal and rejoicing in Christ!
How does your family celebrate Rosh Hashanah?