It’s what everyone all over the world isn’t saying today… and why should they? After all, it’s the middle of March, and nothing around us offers even a hint that a new year has begun. Indeed, most of us haven’t even a clue that a new month has arrived (“Rosh Chodesh,” or New Moon), much less the renewal of an entire year!
Nevertheless, it’s true—the New Year is here… the New Year for Israel, that is (Exodus 12:2, “This month is to you the chief of months—it is the first to you of the months of the year.”). And yet, even world-wide Jewry doesn’t have New Year’s on its collective radar right now. No, for us, New Year’s doesn’t come around for another six long months (“Rosh HaShanah”)—or so we’ve been led to believe.
“Who cares? What’s the big deal?” you retort. “Scripture doesn’t even say that the first New Moon is to be honored any differently than the others (except the seventh)!” Indeed, why does it matter that most of “civilized” planet earth calls a random moment in time—January 1st—“New Year’s Day”? And why get all worked up just because Judaism celebrates its New Year in the Fall, instead of observing it in the Spring, according to the Scriptures?
My purpose in mentioning all this is not as corrective as you might think. It is not my intent to convert the world to Israel’s unique calendar, nor to hype up a day that deserves no more attention in our lives than Scripture explicitly calls for.
On the contrary, the reason for the hoopla is simple: to use this timely opportunity to illustrate how almost completely oblivious we are to the ways of Adonai and the Scriptures to which we so casually pledge our allegiance! We will sooner order our lives according to a blank grid hung on a wall than align ourselves with the plain and pure teaching of the Word of God.
You see, to me, “New Year’s in March (or April)” is much more than just the neglected, Scriptural reboot of Israel’s annual calendar. No—to me, it is a symbolic declaration to the world: “You are out of sync with the tempo of God… out of step with the footfalls of Messiah.”
I want you to stop and recognize the first day of the first month, not because it’s the “real” New Year’s Day, or in order to claim some imagined superiority over those who haven’t yet found “the truth.” Not at all. Israel’s New Year Day is important because it is a symbol of Messiah—the former being the cornerstone of Israel’s calendar; the latter, the Cornerstone of our lives.
The Emissary exhorts in 1Keifa (Peter) 2:2-6
… as newborn babies, desire the word’s pure milk, that in it you will grow, if indeed you [have] tasted that the Master is good. To [those] who [are] coming, [He is] a living stone… and you yourselves, as living stones, are built up [as] a spiritual house…. Therefore, also, it is contained in the Scripture: “Look! I lay in Tziyon a chief corner-stone—chosen, precious—and he who is believing on Him will not be put to shame.”
When we attempt to live the life in Messiah by hearsay—entrusting our walk to the patterns of men, rather than our first-hand experience with the Word of God—our initial steps are already off course… our foundation is already out of alignment. The New Year, like the Messiah, represents the starting point—the site of orientation upon which our trajectory is to be based. And, like the Messiah, it is also the goal… the sign that we have successfully completed another revolution, and are on track to keep moving forward in Him.
So, Happy New Year to you, disciple of Messiah! Renew your mind and be free! The heart of God is beating steadily for you today… will you forsake your tempo, and step with His time instead?