Saturday, October 8, 2011

Newsletter 6.5--October / Day of Atonement

(Photo Courtesy of Jenna C.)

This month, since a lot of people are busy with and preparing for the Feasts of YHWH, we are going to have a shorter Newsletter, posted only here on the blog. We hope you enjoy.

First of all, as the Feast of Tabernacles is coming up this next week, we invite all of the youth to be prolific photographers and take snapshots of the festivities. Afterwards, you are very welcome to send in some of those photos to us, and we will use them to be featured in the next newsletter as well as on the website. We look forward to seeing the joy you have to share with us!

Now, with the feast time upon us once again, it becomes a good time to reflect on the life that we have, especially on Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. As the scripture says:

"Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reed and for spreading sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to YHWH? Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed fo free and break every yoke?" (Isa. 58:5-6)

Our Father has called us to great things, and we have a great opportunity to share with others the great things he has done for us.

With this in mind, I would like to share with you a poem I wrote during last year's Day of Atonement.

The Servant's Freedom in the Face of Guilt and Oppression

A great gathering was called in which the people came together.
It was a very beautiful sight, with the men in white linen
And all the women and children singing songs of praise.
And out in the street, what was found?
There may have been many others out in the street—
Men who could not afford to go in with white linen
And women too busy finding food for their children
To attend to the songs of their own souls.
But out in the street, what was found?

In the street was a most amazing sight,
Something so special that it was hard to describe at first,
As the size of the assembly caused the crowd
To pour out into the road.
Everyone was dressed in fine white robes—
The poor, the hungry, the broken, the tortured,
The ones who looked nothing like a priest.

Everyone looked like redemption was near,
Everyone looked like their faults were forgiven,
Their past troubles covered by a red blanket
Of a bloody lamb and his bleeding saints
Suffering for something more wonderful
Than a name on a plaque in a window glazed with an angelic face.
So how did they do it? How did they find hope in the street?

One man sprinkled a goat's and bull's blood over the heads of the house.
Another man led a goat into the desert where it would be lost.
A third man took the leftover parts and burned them outside the city.
And the rest of the people ran to each other with knives in hand
And unbound their neighbors so that they could go to the assembly
And wear their beautiful white robes.

May YHWH bless and keep you all. We hope to hear from you soon. Shalom!

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