In the run up to the New Year many people will be searching for the right party to attend; will be preparing to watch the bonfire; or will be singing praises at a night vigil whilst ushering the new day of the New Year.
In time for the New Year many of us have undergone an internal appraisal; asking questions like these: What were the goals that you set last year and did you meet them? If you did not then what happened?
Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the Day of Remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the Day of the sounding of the shofar) as it is sometimes called. Yom Ha-Zikkaron begins the Jewish High Holy Days and Ten Days of Repentance with the blowing of the ram's horn, the shofar, calling the Israelites together to repent from their sins. This holiday signified the beginning of the continual sacrificial offerings.
Numbers 29:1-6, Leviticus 23:24-25.
The Jewish festival of Yom Ha- Zikkaron begins the Jewish New Year. This takes place on the first day of the seventh month and required the Israelites to remember what God has done and how they will occupy (govern) in the land He was giving them. A significant aspect of this festival for us now will lead me to explain the importance of remembering past achievements and failures and making resolutions which lead to changed behaviour.
As we enter into 2015 people all over the world will be coming up with both new and old resolutions. Unfortunately before January ends over half of those resolutions will be broken with hope that maybe next year they will be more committed to keeping their resolutions.
A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. How certain are you when you decide from the 1st of January you want change?
Choosing to remember and reflect on the highs and the lows of the previous year is a prerequisite to making a firm decision. This is because without knowing our strengths and weaknesses we will continue to make resolutions that we are unable to keep. Once we are aware of our current reality we are able to make resolutions that we are more likely to keep. Once these resolutions have been made and achieved, further resolutions can be made that will stretch our comfortabilities. However, if we make a resolution without recognition of our reality then we will continue to pile up broken resolutions.
For a decision to be lasting; it would have had to undergo the process of remembering, reflecting and once kept results in the evidence of real lasting change. Every decision made and followed through first begun as an inner determination, an inner longing for change. As a result of exploring one’s reality and capabilities, a decision that is made is likely to be followed through. Unchanged behaviour is the result of very little exploring of a person’s current reality and capabilities.
The continual making of resolutions and keeping them is part of a larger context. As a citizen that is part of a growing community; we have been given the task to set up Ecclesias and rule in God’s Theocratic government. Every citizen has been elected to take part in the process of decision making. As we are beginning to legislate through policies and procedures we begin to reflect a perfect mind and judgement in our communities.
1 Corinthians 1:10
God does not lapse when He makes a decision. God expects us as citizens that represent His law to not falter. Our yes is to remain a yes and our no is to remain a no. For real lasting changes to occur in our communities, the decisions that are made must be resolute and kept by all.
Matthew 5:37, James 5:12, Matthew 18:18, Matthew 16:18-20.
The sounding of the shofar took place in the presence of the children of Israel; making each Israelite a witness to one another. Every decision made by a citizen has an impact on the corporate body, whether disclosed or not. Therefore it is important to note that any decision that is made to enhance citizenship means we are accountable to our fellow citizen to uphold it.
The explicit command to rest in Leviticus 23:24 corresponds to the charge given to us by Jesus to occupy until he comes. God has called us to govern and set up Ecclesia’s that reflect His theocratic government (fred’s gov article). Our remembrance should be reflecting on how well we govern as a community. Our corporate resolution is consolidated in a corporate plan/strategy that focuses on education, maturity, outreach and many more facets of kingdom life. For this to achieve real lasting change, then we are to repent from our corporate and individual immaturity.
This article uncovers a subtle process yet a significant one set down in the sounding of the shofar. As New Year is approaching individuals tend to become more reflective. They excitestir themselves up because they want the next year to be different from all the previous ones. If you happen to read this article during the New Year, please consider for a moment. If you are part of a governing community how can you create lasting change?