Is Your Name in the Book?
- On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed.
“The recordings of how many shall leave this world, and how many shall be born into it, who shall live and who shall die, who shall live out the limit of his days and who shall not, who shall perish by fire and who by water ... who shall be at peace and who shall be tormented ... But penitence, prayer, and good deeds can annul the severity of the decree” (A Rosh Hashanah liturgy).
One of the ongoing themes of the "Days of Awe" is the concept that God has "books” that He writes our names in, recording who it is that will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year.
These books are written on Rosh Hashanah, but our actions during the preceding 10 Days of Awe can alter God’s decree.
The actions that will change these decrees are genuine repentance and heartfelt prayers.
These books are than sealed on Yom Kippur.
This writing in books is the source of the common greeting during this time of which may be heard:
"May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."
This solemn period of time is always commemorated during the Harvest season. It is a time set aside for deep introspection, repentance and atonement for sin.
The “Days of Awe” are an opportunity for all of us to experience genuine brokenness before God in a way like we have never known before.
If we are honest, we have to admit that we really have nothing at all to offer Him except true repentance and a contrite heart. And to Him … that will be enough.
For the scripture tell us,
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Psalm 51:17).
Let us prayerfully consider this to be a time of making the journey into Godly transformation. This will only happen as we humble ourselves and surrender to the process of His refinement. Then, He can transform each one of us into the beautiful reflection of … “His Image!”
What an “awe”-inspiring change that will be!
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