Happy New Year !!!
Happy New Year !!!
(Happy New Year in Hebrew)
There are myriads of celebrations for the incoming year, but how much do we know about the three kinds of New Year that most of us are familiar with?
Here’s a quick rundown on these three in the individual calendars that they are based on.
1. The Chinese New Year
In this year of 2017, many Filipinos greeted each other with a boisterous “kung hei fat choi” last 28th of January, while it will again be an official public holiday on the 16th February 2018 next year.
Even beyond Binondo, most shopping malls are often awash with activities related to the Chinese New Year. For some people, they would queue in long lines just to get readings from feng shui experts who would tell them of their fortunes using the animals that symbolize their respective birth years, of various relationships to other people’s animal years, and of how they might be affected by impending events in each coming month.
However, many Filipinos have conflicting beliefs and vague ideas on this Chinese lore.
What then are some details that are not often spoken about regarding this festivity?
Taboos and Superstitions of Chinese New Year
Many of us know the animals representing our birth year, but must we Christians follow and also line-up for our own readings?
Do we ever have notions that our Father God in heaven would approve if we adopt some of these Chinese practices?
In early February, Brunei issued strict guidelines for the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Upon hearing of this news, perhaps many of us Christians reacted against this seeming veiled censorship in our naive belief on freedom and in the name of democracy.
Brunei targets Chinese New Year in latest crackdown:
After studying Brunei’s restrictions, shall we reconsider and perhaps ponder if we can also implement similar rules?
Photo credits to Katie Nelson in http://shanghaiist.com
2. The Catholic New Year
At 12 midnight on the eve of every January 01, we shout a joyful greeting of “Happy New Year”, often in the company of our loved ones. For those with Western orientation, they may even sing “The Auld Lang Syne” to bide a goodbye to the outgoing year.
Surely, we are familiar with the Gregorian calendar that we have used for ages, but do we know that it is a recent invention that is inconsistent, full of errors and has been changed many times?
Image above: Tomb of Pope Gregory XIII celebrating the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar
All major cultures in history had their own calendar that could even be used for complex navigation because these were all based on celestial bodies, but how did the crude and inconsistent Gregorian Calendar succeed and become dominant worldwide?
This article with videos show that the conquering Catholic nations forced their subjects to use and accept the Gregorian Calendar:
The Truth About the Gregorian Calendar: http://themindunleashed.org/2013/06/the-truth-about-gregorian-calendar.html
So, do we even care that we may have ignorantly sat back and swallowed this Catholic calendar hook, line and sinker?
3. Our Christian New Year
Does our Almighty Father prescribe a specific New Year for us?
We may have read in the Scriptures that our Father God in heaven spoke to Moses and gave dozens of instructions on how and when to commemorate many important events on very specific dates, but do we know what calendar He is referring to for us to use?
The Word of God says that the LORD had assigned to us the start the year:
“This month [shall be] unto you the beginning of months: it [shall be] the first month of the year to you.”
– Exodus 12:2 (KJV)
in Hebrew (Read from right to left):
בחודש זה [יהיה] לכם תחילת חודשים: זה [יהיה] בחודש הראשון של השנה אליך “.
– שמות 12: 2 (עברית)
Kindly read the whole chapter 12 of Exodus for a better understanding.
Isn’t this New Year supposed to be only for the Jews?
This calendar used by Moses is the same one used by Christ Jesus, and is very much in use now, not only by the Jews, but by obedient Christians as well.
Photo by myphotocreations.com
The year that God had explicitly ordained both for the Jews and for Christians begins NOT on January 01 or anytime close to this date.
In this year of 2017, our Rosh Chodesh (also Rosh Hodesh) or New Year fell on 1 Nissan 5777 or Tuesday, March 27, 2017.
In 2016, New Year was on the Saturday, April 09, and in the coming year of 2018, it will be on Saturday, or the 17th of March.
However, if one looks at all of these dates, he will be confused because he will find a discrepancy of one day with the Gregorian calendar that many are familiar with. Why is there an error?
The Hebrew Luach (calendar) is obviously different from the Gregorian calendar that most of us use. One distinct feature is that the Hebrew day starts at sundown of the previous day, meaning that although our New Year on 1 Nissan 5778 is on 18th of March 2018, it officially starts around sundown at around 06 pm of the previous day of 17 March 2018.
juliomiguel3photo from Simple Luach application
But why must Christians understand the Hebrew Luach?
Christians are often stumped in figuring out the timeline of on these events:
1. the Lord’s Supper,
2. the arrest of Jesus,
3. the Crucifixion of Jesus,
4. the death of Jesus,
5. the burial of Jesus,
6. the resurrection of Christ,
7. the ascension of Christ to heaven,
8. the birth of the infant Jesus,
and other important events.
A proper study of the Hebrew Luach often solves this dilemma.
Knowing this calendar will also make us appreciate the significance of the Jewish Passover and hopefully, we may see our vital connection to these events.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”
– Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)
Once we have a working understanding of Hebrew dates, we can perhaps start to solve more perplexing puzzles when we read narrations in the Gospels. These are two very crucial questions that will surely come to mind:
1. After Jesus took the Lord’s Supper, he was arrested, then crucified, later died and was buried; but why do we read that all of these events happened on the same day?
2. When Christ died, he was buried for three days and then he rose again, but why do Scriptural accounts show that he resurrected one day ahead of schedule?
That’s correct. Many pastors and priests who quote the Scriptures, say that Jesus died and was buried on a Friday afternoon and then he resurrected after three (3) days at early dawn on the following Sunday?
The first problem should be quite easy to solve but can we untangle the Problem #2 disjunct?
Shall we discover that all the pieces will finally fall into their proper places.
Shouldn’t we now get excited and start looking for these jewels of knowledge that God has hidden in His Word but which He promised to reveal to us?
May the Almighty Father in heaven continue to give us the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in the name of His Son our Lord Christ Jesus.
Photo by hebrew4christians.com
Suggested study on the Jewish Calendar:
Introduction to the Jewish Calendar
Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
Next article coming soon:
Counting The Days Of Christ’s Burial.
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