Feast of Trumpets 2008

Today is the Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh Hoshanah (“head of the year”). For my comments from last year’s Feast of Trumpets, see Feast of Trumpets 2007. There, I discuss the festival in the Hebrew Bible, Judaism, and Armstrongism.

I’m resting today. I’m also doing my weekly quiet time on the Book of Ruth, as I do on the weekly Sabbath.

What do I want to say about the Feast of Trumpets today? I’m not in much of a mood to write a comprehensive treatise about the festival. I just want to comment on where it’s meaningful to me right now.

The Feast of Trumpets has to do with hope. In Armstrongism, it foreshadows the second coming of Christ, which will occur with the blast of trumpets (I Corinthians 15:52; Revelation 8). And there is at least one Jewish interpretation that applies it to the Jews’ restoration from exile, which will be signaled by a trumpet blast (Isaiah 27:3).

This world has a lot of problems. There is much economic insecurity right now. Hopefully, things will get better. But there are people who are homeless in any economic situation. I remember buying some granola bars for a homeless person who’s younger than me, and I couldn’t imagine not having a place to live. What would I do? Hang out at the park all day? What would I eat? Where would I sleep? What if it rained? People would look down on me and not give me money. I know I don’t give money to the homeless all of the time!

We are a nation at war. Often, it seems like no option is all that good. We tried sanctions against Iraq, and that starved her people. We bombed the country, and innocent Iraqis died. How would I feel if I lost a friend or family member to a bombing? We’ve lost a lot of American lives too. But what was the alternative? Keeping the Iraqis subject to a brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein? Is there any perfect choice? The same sorts of issues confront us whenever we weigh military intervention.

There is no perfect politician. Even those who try to do the right thing have blind spots, or they make exceptions to their otherwise scrupulous ethics. Barack Obama has been involved with sordid characters who exploit innocent people, even though he tried to serve others as a community organizer. John McCain has resisted some special interests, while cow-towing to others. Sarah Palin has received her share of gifts, even though she has fought for ethical reform. Bob Barr claims to be pro-life, but he paid for his wife’s abortion. I don’t agree with the Armstrongite stance of not voting, for the Bible is clear that there are better and worse rulers. But I continue to gain an appreciation of Psalm 146:3: “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help” (NRSV).

But the Feast of Trumpets reminds me that there will be a perfect solution: Jesus Christ will return to earth and set up his kingdom. Each will sit under his own vine and fig tree (Micah 4:4). Nations will not fight one another, even as the Messiah will punish all evildoers (Isaiah 2). I remember asking one of my relatives whom he wants for President, and he replied “Jesus Christ.” I disagree with his anti-voting stance, but I’m coming to appreciate the kingdom of God a whole lot more as time goes on.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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3 Responses to Feast of Trumpets 2008

  1. Phil Gons says:

    You should add RefTagger to your blog. It makes all your Bible references come alive. It takes just a couple of minutes to set up. Find out how in this post: Adding RefTagger to a Blogger Blog.


  2. James Pate says:

    This is helpful, Phil. I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but I didn’t know how.


  3. James Pate says:

    I can’t do it. I can’t paste the code. The window where I’m supposed to paste it has nothing that allows me to paste it.


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