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Happy New Years – or is it?
By Brother Chris
It’s only a matter of hours now till the world will be shouting, Happy New year, and the holiday season will be over. While many will bring in this New Year in a drunken festival of sin, others traditionally take this opportunity to both look back at the old year as well as look forward to the new. We look at our mistakes, life style and body appearance and make resolutions of change, resolutions that many, to soon seem to forget as they fall back into their bad habits.
Over the last month we have looked at the concepts of both Christmas and Hanukkah, this got me wondering about the origins of how we bring in the New Year. While Christmas was originally a celebration of the Winter Solstice, New Years was a celebration of fertility rites associated with the coming spring and the renewal of the land that would follow winter. This tradition goes back to the Babylonians; the Romans worshipped Janus, the two-faced god of doors and gates. Janus had two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. Roman emperor Julius Caesar in 46BC established January 1 as the Roman New Year’s Day and named the month “January” after the god Janus. He set this month as the appropriate “door” to the year.
The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was begun in Greece around 600BC. It was their tradition at that time to honor their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. http://www.bartleby.com/196/94.html The Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.
Early Romans believed that loudness, lewdness and drunkenness were necessary to celebrate the beginning of the New Year. The legends show they hoped such behavior would confuse Pan and the other malicious gods, thus preventing them from interfering in the everyday lives of mortals for the year to come. http://www.tomorrowsworld.org/commentary/the-two-faces-of-new-year-celebrations-0
The Scottish people, known on occasion to take a “wee dram or two,” mark the coming of the new year observing a holiday they call Hogmanay. This celebration emerges from their history of Viking invasions, superstition, and ancient pagan rituals, and is known for heavy drinking and carousing into the early hours of the morning. http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/Scotland-History/Hogmanay.htm.
Now I ask you, as a people called of God and who call themselves Christians, are wild celebrations, full public drunkenness and perverted behavior an appropriate way to bring in a New Year?
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 ESV)
So as a Christian, is the middle of winter, a fully pagan celebration, the appropriate time to begin the year? God, when giving the nation of Israel His Holy Days, said man should begin the year in the spring.
En Punto posted: Date in Hebrew Calendar 1st of Nisan (March-April)
Scriptural references: Exodus 12:2, 18; Lev.23:4-8; Numbers 9:1-5
In Exodus 12:2, the Lord said to Moses: "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you." In the following verses He describes the Passover and Unleavened Bread. The month in question is the month now called Nisan. Clearly, the true Biblical New Years is meant to be celebrated on the First of Nisan, even though no one does.
Let us celebrate New Years on the day the Lord chose.
Many interesting events took place on this day: Moses set up the Tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 40:1ff); Hezekiah re=dedicated the temple in Jerusalem after a period of apostasy (11Chronicles 29:17-19); Ezra 7:9); and Ezekiel was told to dedicate the second temple on that day (Ezekiel 45:18).
TAKEN FROM THE ZECHARIAH PROPHECY CALENDAR PRODUCED AND PRINTED IN ISRAEL: http://thegalileeexperience.com/
The Jewish Calendar New Year starts in the spring with the renewal of life and is celebrated in mid-March to mid- April. God established His calendar in Exodus 12:2 saying “this month shall be the first month to you”. In this month, God redeemed Israel from slavery in Egypt. So the first month of Nisan is the month of redemption, and new beginnings. Where our calendars today start in the dead of winter, the Biblical calendar starts in the spring and renewal of all life in nature.
However, God being a God that loves to see His children happy and joyful also established a second New Year festival.
“Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. (Deuteronomy 16:1 ESV)
Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Civil New Year which occurs on the first day of Tishri, the seventh Biblical month of the Jewish lunar year. The Biblical year begins with the first New Moon which corresponds with the sixth day of creation and is in Mid-September to mid-October by the Gregorian (Christian) Calendar. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah literally means, "head of the year" or "first of the year."
As many of you know, I have been looking into the Biblical Festivals given us by God. I have asked myself, how can I as a Christian, keep January 1st as my New Year. Yes I can rededicate myself to my Saviour, get more into the study of His word, visit friends and family, but all this can and should be done throughout the year and should not be limited to just one date on the calendar.
By keeping what God declares to be both, the Calendar New Year in the spring and Rosh Hashanah, the Civil New Year in the fall, I add a spiritual aspect that cannot be gained by what I now conceder to be a deception of Satan to keep me away from what God originally ordained.
So as the world has just one New Years and one Christmas, God gave us two New Years and 8 days of Hanukkah to feast and celebrate in worship with Him. So for those of you celebrating this weekend, I wish you a Very Happy and Blessed New Year, however for me I think I will wait till Gods appointed times and the subsequent blessings thereof.
Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!
(Psalm 119:1-8 ESV)
We are all on our own level of spiritual awakening, this is my prayer, is it yours?
Psalm 150…Friday December 30th, 2011
GOD’S CREATION PRAISES HIM EVERYWHERE IN EVERY WAY
WE SHOULD JOIN THIS REJOICING REALM OF PRAISE
Praise God for his acts of Power
Praise him for his surpassing greatness
LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH PRAISE THE LORD
Music and song were an integral part of Old Testament worship.
David introduced music into the tabernacle and temple services
1 Chronicles 16:4-7
The music must have been loud and joyous as evidenced by the list of instruments and the presence of choirs and song leaders.
Music was also important in New Testament worship
Ephesians 5:19 / Colossians 3:16
How could the message be clearer?
The writer was telling the individual listeners to praise God.
What a fitting way to end this book of praise with a direct encouragement for you to praise God too.
REMEMBER TO PRAISE HIM EVERY DAY?
In a way the book of Psalms parallels our spiritual journey through life. It begins by presenting us with two roads.
THE WAY TO LIFE and THE WAY TO DEATH
If we choose God’s way to life we still face both blessings and troubles, joy and grief, successes and obstacles.
Throughout it all God is at our side including His guidance, encouragement, comfort and care.
As the wise and faithful person’s life draws to an end, one realizes clearly that God’s road is the right road. Knowing this will cause us to praise God for leading us in the right direction and for assuring our place in the perfect world God has in store for those who have faithfully followed him. Psalm 150:6
Wherever we are and whatever the situations we experience let us have an attitude of Praise and Worship focusing on the reality of God’s love and purpose.
WE ARE TO WORSHIP GOD BECAUSE OF HIS MIGHTY DEEDS and HIS ESXCELLENT CHARACTER
We are first told who is to worship
EVERYTHING THAT BREATHES
Then to be aware of whom we are to worship
THE LORD (YAHWEH)
Finally that every living thing should “praise the Lord”
There is a mighty appeal to Praise God affecting all aspects of life.
IF YOU HAVE THE GIFT OF SALVATION AVAILABLE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND OUR SAVIOR TRULY WE SHOULD BE VESSELS OF PRAISE
Study by Charlotte…December 2011
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