Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tashlich — To Cast Away

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Today is a high, holy day for our Jewish friends. At sunset tonight, October 3, The Day of Atonement begins, and lasts until sunset, October 4. It comes on the heals of the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, which began September 24 and ended on September 26. 

During Rosh HaShanah, Jews prepare for the Day of Atonement by means of a beautiful ceremony called Tashlich. Tashlich (תשליך) means, casting off in Hebrew. The ceremony involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread  into a body of flowing water. The current will carry away the bits of bread, representing their sins being carried away. Each year, the participant hopes to start the New Year with a clean slate. 

Christ followers understand that true forgiveness doesn’t come merely in the keeping of traditions and rituals, as beautiful and meaningful as the ceremonies can be. Our reconciliation with God comes through the atoning work of Jesus, the Messiah, as the Scriptures clearly point out. 

That being said, it would do us good to practice a little “tashlich” today — cast our sins away. The apostle John told us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness [I repeat: ALL unrighteousness!], 1 John 1:9.

Stop struggling with your sin—confess them and be cleansed! The Lord, our merciful Father, is a forgiving, restoring God who is abundant in pardon!

Where is another God like you, who pardons iniquity and passes over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18-19

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