I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free! Psalm 119:32, NIV1984

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Soon and Not Yet

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, I drive home through the pouring down rain, windshield wipers swishing, headlights glinting off wet streets.  Paul Wilbur's Watchman cd is blaring from the speakers in my truck, and it seems fitting somehow that my firstborn has just had her first trumpet lesson. This is to be a day of blowing trumpets!

Music fills the car, and I sing along, "Blow a trumpet in Zion!" as I pray for the peace of Jerusalem,  city that God loves and on which He has set His heart and His Name.

Driving down that same road the next day in bright sunlight, my boy-child asks, "So what is Rosh Hashanah?" and I tell him it's the day his dad looks forward to every year, hoping this will be the year of His return.

"But why?"  my boy-child asks.

Oh, child.  I'm so glad you asked.

So we drive and we talk about the Feasts of the Lord, the festivals that God gave to Israel, each one a picture of Messiah.  We talk about Jesus - Yeshua - fulfilling each of the spring feasts exactly on each of the feast days.  And we talk about the fall feasts, their fulfillment yet to come.

"So Jesus will return on Rosh Hashanah?" he asks.

"Oh, we don't know that.  Jesus says that no man knows the day or the hour.  Only the Father knows.  But He also says that we can know the season, that the wise man pays attention to the signs of the times. And this - Rosh Hashanah, Feast of Trumpets, the Bible calls it - this is the Feast that looks forward to Jesus' return."

At home, we eat apples with honey that our friends brought home from Israel, and we talk about the Land and the people that God has called the apple of His eye.

And I tell the story again of the time I heard the shofar blow . . .


My boy-child was still being knit together in my womb.  My firstborn was a toddler. We had come in from a walk in the park across the street, and after eating lunch, I had put her down for a nap while I jumped in a quick shower.  As my firstborn slept, I blew my hair dry.  And then over the noise of the blow dryer in my ear, I heard the distinct sound of a shofar.

I turned off the blow dryer and put my hands by my side, waiting with sure expectation.

Again, I heard the shofar blow - this time much more clearly.

"I'm ready!" I said quietly, smile wide, eyebrows lifted in expectation.



Baby still there in the womb.

Toddler still sleeping in her crib.

But I know I heard a shofar blow!

Who in the world is blowing a shofar in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday in my distinctly Gentile neighborhood?  Who else in this neighborhood would even own a shofar?


I wonder . . .

So I called my pastor, my mentor, who lived with his family in the house behind mine.

"Were you just in your backyard blowing a shofar?"

"Yes! Did you hear it?" he asked excitedly.

And for the life of me, I couldn't keep the disappointment from my voice. "Yes," I said.  "I heard it.  I thought it was Jesus coming back to get us and take us with Him!"


As Rosh Hashanah passes once again, we remember and look forward to the day we'll hear the shofar blow from heaven.  And until then, we give thanks that His coming, though not yet, is soon . . .

Are you wondering what this all means?  What are the Feasts of the Lord?  And what does it mean that they are pictures of Jesus?  The Feasts of the Lord (Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, etc.) are given in Leviticus 23. In the New Testament, the book of John is a good place to begin reading and understanding the Feasts. And a wonderful resource for understanding how Jesus fulfills each feast is Kevin Howard and Marv Rosenthal's book, The Feasts of the Lord.  You can find it here or here.

Continuing to count His endless gifts and grace, because every gift points back to the One who gave. . .

1451  blue sky peeking through clouds
1452  rays of sunlight stretching across the western sky
1453  listening to sermon podcasts late at night when the house is quiet
1454  hearing students tell of family mission trips overseas
1455  other students saying they want to go, too!
1456  couscous with chick-peas, cilantro, and pine nuts...so yummy!
1457  freshly sharpened, brand-new pencils
1458  new spirals & folders
1459  brightly colored markers
1460  crayons with pointy tips
1461  back-to-school teacher gifts for my friends
1462  fun treats for my students and their delight over the simple gift
1463  cool breeze whispering of fall coming soon
1464  high school football games and hanging out with friends
1465  sweet toddler voice calling out, "Touchdown, boys!"
1466  a morning with friends at the outdoor theater
1467  lunch on the grass
1468  freshly trimmed hedges
1469  clouds rolling in
1470  fun, surprise packages in the mail
1471  being the safe place for kids to come after school
1472  boys in the living room playing with yo-yos
1473  watching American Bible Challenge together
1474  laughing over funny tweets so hard we cried
1475  the four of us watching a movie together
1476  linzer cookies, safe for my firstborn
1477  beautiful sterling bracelet, gift from a student
1478  first trumpet lesson
1479  new guitar strings
1480  meeting with friends to pray and plan the next trip to Israel
1481  my children asking questions about the feasts
1482  teaching them God's Word
1483  that His return, though not yet, is soon!

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says,
"Yes, I am coming soon!"
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
Revelation 22:20, NLT

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