Peace Family, when was the last time that you had the chance to do an inventory of your life and heart?
From sunset tonight through sunset tomorrow, Jewish people everywhere will observe Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and a time to examine the year gone by. Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement,” and it’s also called the “Sabbath of Sabbaths.” It’s a time to be honest with ourselves, look at our failures, and realize how much we need God. It’s a time for making amends, mending relationships, repenting from sins and letting God’s purity reign in our lives to start off the Jewish New Year. Tomorrow evening, a long blast from a shofar (a ram’s horn) will mark the end of the fast.
During biblical times, Yom Kippur was the only day of the year that the High Priest could enter the Holiest of Holies in the Temple, to ask for God’s forgiveness on behalf of all the people of Israel. I think it’s interesting that the time of year that the priests felt physically closest to God’s presence, was also the time that they were repenting of sin, acknowledging humanity’s inability to fulfill God’s requirements of us, and having to receive grace from Him in order to be purified. It was not something that people could achieve on their own; it was something that was only available because of God’s goodness and forgiveness.
Peace family, why not examine our own hearts today and tomorrow? Where have we been prideful, deceitful, dishonest, lustful, gluttonous, or in other ways dishonored or disobeyed God? How have we used, dishonored, or hurt other people? Who do we need to apologize to, and what are some changes we can make in order to better honor and glorify him in our lives?
The great thing about God, is that we don’t have to wait until a specific day to make things right with Him. There’s nothing to stop us from turning our lives over to him on any given day! Let’s take some time this weekend to do some spiritual inventory, acknowledge our failures, and draw closer to God in our need for Him. It’s hard sometimes to pull ourselves away from our busy lives to assess them, but it is always worth it. Be encouraged by the goodness of God and His kindness to us!