"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Should old acquaintance be forgot?


earth 

You crown the year with Your goodness. Psalm 65:11

 


Repost time…this one is from January of 2006, (long before Soulfari was born) ancient history right? I hope you don’t mind but there is a really cool point to this way back post. I talk about leap seconds, time lords and…well, I should just let you read it! Blessings, Jay

Should old acquaintance be forgot? Well…maybe.

If you are a worrier, here is something else for you to fret about…the Earth is slowing down. Yep, good old mother earth is grinding to a screeching halt. Well, maybe not so dramatic but New Year’s Day, in case you didn’t know, came a full second later at the start of 2006. Tidal braking (the friction of tides raised by the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon) adds to the slight change of Earth’s rotation. Since this messes with the synchronization with atomic clocks, scientists tweaked the start of 2006 by adding the first “leap second” in seven years.

dr_who_ In charge of these rotational timing issues are the fine upstanding members of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service. (I know they are official...they have a website). They have my thanks for the extra second I guess, but their agency name needs some serious help. I think “The Universal Time Lords” has a certain ring to it but Dr. Who fans may have a problem with sharing that one.

Oh, I don’t think the extra wait caused any serious delays in people’s celebrations either, especially not my sister-in-law’s. Her timing in New Year wishing was perfect, a phone call right at the height of New Year celebration ecstasy, and an hour after my wife and I had gone to bed. Timing is…everything, here’s what I mean.

A New Year is time for reflection (see last post for more), a time for remembrance and perhaps, a time to forget some “acquaintances”. By acquaintances I mean habits, the behaviors we need to break, practices so ingrained in us that we
often do them without a conscious thought. Some habits become so familiar, so friendly that we don’t see the danger they pose to our souls. Of course, habit is sometimes a sanitary word for sin, the issues we rotate around causing much friction (tidal braking) in our lives. What we need in this New Year is a few days
of awe.

The Jewish New Year and the American New Year have very little in common, seasonal or in substance. Still, I believe the Father has something to say through some of the symbols and traditions of our Jewish brothers. The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance. This is a time for self-examination, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before the arrival of Yom Kippur.

One cool ceremony of Rosh Hashana is the custom of Tashlikh (meaning “casting off”). The Tashlikh observance is a symbolic casting off the sins of the previous year. A ceremony where worshippers go and throw the contents of their pockets (lint, small pieces of food, please…not your wallet) into a moving body of water such as a stream or an ocean, while reciting passages such as:

“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Micah 7:19- KJV

“And compassion is on its way to us. You'll stamp out our wrongdoing. You'll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean.” – The Message Bible

Now, there isn’t much you can throw into the ocean without getting in trouble with some environmentalist group, but this is some seriously “AWE-some” idea. I first imagined a modern day Boston Tea Party like event (without the Native American clothing) just dumping our stuff into the harbor. However, that is not an accurate picture; this is how I now see it.

The Father relieves us of our burdens; He comes and picks our pockets clean and deposits them in the depths of His forgiveness. We come to the shore of grace full of soul schmutz (Yiddish for "a little mess."), and the tide of His love washes us clean. This is where God’s demonstrates His fathering skills the best, in the act of forgiving. The Tashlikh practice is a great reflection of the cleansing action of His love, reminding us to come to the tides of mercy. Like diving into the depths of the oceans, God invites us to do the same with His love.

Should old acquaintance (soul shmutz) be forgot, And never brought to mind? Oh yes, I believe the Father wants it that way.

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. Micah 7:18

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