I believe with all my heart in the power of redemption. That’s what keeps me going from one day to the next. I messed up in the past, and I will likely mess up today, but I will try to do better tomorrow. This is at the core of the Christian faith, but it is sometimes forgotten in celebrating the wonderful gift of forgiveness that Jesus bought us on the cross.
This week, my Jewish friends celebrate Rosh Hoshanah and Yom Kipppur – the beginning of the New Year (5769 on the Jewish calendar), followed by days of atonement. It is a period of self examination and resolve. In this period, Jews all over the world meditate on their behavior during the year just ended, identifying past sins and resolving to atone for them by being a better person in the year to come.
Let us not forget that Jesus was a Jew. He came not to destroy the Judaic faith but to fulfill its prophecy. Despite our belief in infinite forgiveness and the redeeming power of His love, the underlying admonition of self-examination persists. To take advantage of His gift, it is not enough to proclaim our acceptance of it; we Christians must also acknowledge our transgressions and shortcomings and resolve to do better in the future.
To my Jewish friends, I say L’shanah tovah! And allow me to join you in this period of self examination and resolve.