Beit Immanuel Jewish Festival
If you have never heard the sound of the Shofar, it is not easy to describe. Raw, primal, unsettling only begin to describe the stirrings in a Jewish soul contemplating its crackle.
This year as we listen, its shout from realms beyond demand our attention, for as in the days of old, it is an alarm, a call to arms, alerting us to imminent dangers. In synagogues and Messianic congregations around the world, the Shofar will solemnly declare: "Arise, for there are shakings in the earth. Shall the Shofar be blown in a city and the people not tremble?" (Amos 3:6)
Reserved for sacred assemblies, the Shofar will once again stir memories of Sinai where the people trembled and the mountains shook at His word.  With its cry the Shofar stirs us to consider the judgments of God so evident in all the earth.  As the walls of Jericho shook at her blast, so we are shaken to lift up our voices in supplication, "O Lord, let Grace and Truth be known once again in our land."
We fashion the Shofar from the horns of an animal fit for sacrifice. It calls forth the sprinkled Mercy Seat at the conclusion of the Day of Atonement. Its beastly sound awakens our repentance, calling us back to God.
And when we have passed from this small earth, we shall once more hear the sound of the Shofar at our resurrection (1 Thess. 4:16, 1 Cor. 15:52). This is to say, "Awake from your slumber, you who have fallen asleep in life, and reflect on your deeds. Remember your creator. Be not of those who miss reality in the pursuit of shadows, and waste their lives in seeking after vain things which neither profit nor save. Look well to your souls and improve your character. Forsake each of you his evil ways and return unto the Lord." (Maimonides)
This year the Shofar will be heard on Sunday evening at sundown, September 9, the beginning of the Hebrew New Year 5779. May its cry call forth the beginning of a season of renewal for the people of Israel, and may it be a time of reflection and re-commitment to God for all those who love the God of Israel.