The evening of Sept. 28 will usher in the new year, 5772, with the exciting Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashana celebrations. Feast of Trumpets is also the 19th anniversary of the congregation that meets in our home, Messianic House of Prayer. We are a Spirit-filled, Messianic Jewish congregation supervised by a larger Messianic congregation in Rolling Meadows, IL, named Temple Shalom Yisrael. If any of you, our readers, are in the area, we invite you to join us for the Feast of Trumpets service, held at 7 pm, at 553 Irving Place, University Park, IL. Here's how we celebrate.
If it's a nice, clear evening we often go outside and try to spot the new moon. This is the only feast scheduled at the time of the new moon. Since we know approximately when it will appear (as predicted on our calendars), we see if we can actually spot it on the western horizon at sunset. It's so appropriate to have this uncertainty, because the Feast of Trumpets points ahead to the day Yeshua (Jesus) will return with the sound of the trumpet and a shout. We know approximately when He will return, but not exactly.
Then whether we spot the new moon or not, we commence our celebrations. (With everyone's work schedules and to be in sync with the rest of the Jewish community around the world, we celebrate on the exact day the Feast is scheduled, even though it may be a day or so off, according to the sighting of the moon.) We sing many songs about Yeshua's return and many songs are accompanied by the blasts of the shofar. We also hear the shofar blown (by lay pastor David Weinberger) in all the traditional patterns for the Feast of Trumpets service. Dave also gives a short message about the Feast and leads in prayers. Afterwards we share some of the traditional foods for the holiday, as sweet and sour cabbage soup, challah bread, and apples and honey.
Studying about the feast is great, and you can read more about it in our book Celebrating the Feasts of the Lord, available at http://amhehome.org/products.htm. But the best way to really know about the feast is to actually celebrate it, and to do it every year that you can. Hearing the shofar is so powerful, the Lord had a lot to say about blowing the shofar when you go to war, when you want to issue a warning to the people, when you announce a great event, or for the coronation of a king. All these reasons are so crucial for us today to blow the shofar and pray about. There's a war raging in the spirtiual as well as physical world involving Israel, America, the state of our culture, world terrorism, and the body of believers. We definitely need to warn people of God's judgment and standards. We definitely want to bring hope and announce salvation to a dying world and culture. And we definitely want to long for His coming and blow the shofar to remind ourselves to be prepared for the coronation of King Jesus (Yeshua) when He returns for His bride.
What a holiday! Serious, solemn, but joyful! Find somewhere to celebrate this year and a very Happy Feast of Trumpets to you and your family!
To find other Chicagoland Messianic Jewish congregations to celebrate with, go to http://chicagomj.com/members.html