My Jewish friends are in the middle of the High Holy Days. It starts on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year, and ends ten days later on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). During that week they take stock of the previous year and prepare to make an accounting of it. The High Holy Days are also known as the Days of Repentance, or get this: the Days of Awe.
Sometimes I wish there were a Lutheran version of the High Holy Days. I wish we were directed to remember the past year: the good and bad that have that happened; the things you did well and poorly; the good things you failed to do… Not because if you don’t, God won’t forgive you, but because you won’t grow or learn or appreciate life. Because you won’t remember your life as it slips through your fingers.
A friend posted memories of her father-in-law who’d passed away. I didn’t know the man, but her account of him made me cry. She’d had sat down to remember him.
It’s fall, isn’t it? The calendar says we have ten more days, but I know it’s over. We must reach a point in the orbit where the earth makes a swift turn and we lose more light per minute than any other time of the dying summer. I feel it in the light in the sky – that aching, poignant fading light, like the last act of some tear-jerker movie. It must be God’s way of of telling us to stop and remember.
A friend posted this on Rosh Hashana:
I love the text inscribed.
Lord our God,
King of the Universe!
Who has granted us life,
sustained us and
brought us to this season.
The High Holy Days arrive just as farmers are bringing in the harvest. I don’t know which came first, the chicken or the egg: the physical harvest, or the soul’s need to take an inventory of one’s spiritual harvest. But this is the time to do it – before your attention is stolen by school or work or the tyranny of the urgent.
Remember your life before it slips through your fingers.