Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Yes, I know it’s September, but Happy New Year! Happy 5768! It’s the Jewish New Year, and we’re celebrating the beginning of the year 5768. But it’s 2007! How can it be 5768? Answer—we live in two worlds.

To herald the beginning of the new year, the Jews of the Bible would blow a trumpet. Not a trumpet like we think of, a shiny metal hand-crafted instrument, but the shofar, the ram’s horn. A trumpet is a meticulously crafted, regimented, consistent instrument, but the shofar is wild—it comes from a live animal. Every shofar is different. The shofar produces a different sound, a wild sound.

Two trumpets for two worlds

One natural, one spiritual

The Cosmos and the Kingdom

And we live in both. The challenge, the task, is to pull them together, to live, really live in both worlds. The world that we see, and the world that we believe in without seeing. To understand that the world we can’t see is just as real as the one we do.

Sand and Stars. God talked to Abraham about sand and stars. Abraham, the father of faith, walked in the sand. His feet sank into the sand with every step. Sand blew in his face, he could taste it and touch it. Only when he looked up at night did he see the stars. And yet God called him to interact with those stars, to be aware of those stars, to know that there was another world, that he could find a way to see the invisible and do the inconceivable. And Abraham believed God, he believed the voice he heard speaking deep in his being. That voice called him to do things that were impossible, implausible, ridiculous. And Abraham obeyed.

And changed the world forever.

We are aware of the sand with every step we take. We are only aware of the stars when we pause, and look up. When we stop and listen and believe. All things are possible to him that believes. All things. Impossible things. There is another world, a world that does not operate by the rules we’ve learned that govern this world of sand.

Sometimes the sand is overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like quicksand, and we’re sure we’re going down for the last time. We have to focus then on the stars, to harness all the strength we have to believe, to fight the terror and the horror and the panic, to fight the good fight of faith. We’re called to live in the stars. And the sand.

The goal is that the worlds become one—that faith becomes sight. Thy Kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven! Maranatha, come Lord Jesus! That the day would come when we can sing out, joyfully, “The Kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever, Amen!’

Go ahead, reach for the stars!