This month on the Jewish calendar is Elul. It is the month of repentance in preparation for their coming New Year (our September 5). During Elul a trumpet blows each morning reminding people to make things right with God. They believe that if their repentance is genuine, God will “inscribe them for life” in His book.
On New Year’s Day in Israel, the shofar is blown 100 times. It is a call to gather as one people and having repented, to anticipate the blessings of the presence of God. It is a day of great joy and feasting.
This celebration is called a “rehearsal” in the Bible. Each year those who long for the return of Christ remember these words: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet blast of God: and the bodies of those who have died in Christ shall be resurrected first: then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” – (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
It is of great importance that the first words of Jesus to all people were “Repent.” It means to show genuine sorrow for ignoring God by turning away from our sins, to face the Lord Jesus. Having paid our debt of sin by his own blood, he is ready and willing to forgive, restore and grant eternal life. Those who demonstrate genuine repentance are inscribed in the “Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Will Jesus come this year? No one knows, but we will enjoy the anticipation of that day. As it is customary in Israel to wish everyone the very best future possible, we also say to you – “Happy New Year! May you be inscribed for life!”