Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul Six

Welcome to Teshuvah Elul Six

It’s already day six
I’ve so much to do
So much to fix

He leaves me gifts
As I discard
Out with old
The distasteful and marred

What does He love
What was it He asked
That I be willing
Obedient for the task

There is some work
Very difficult He said
Drink plenty of fluids
For the work days ahead

What could He mean
Where are we to meet
He said where my new work clothes
Now that’s kind of neat

It is getting real
And the work much harder
I’m learning so much
I’m becoming a Gardner

The Sower sows the word
He left me this parable
Said study on this
Until it becomes sharable

© laurette laster


Beginning with Elul 1 and continuing until Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) are the forty days included in the season of repentance, also known as Teshuvah. It is said to be a time of deep introspection or soul searching, looking within to prepare as needed. Teshuvah, “to turn” means to repent, to turn back, lit. “return”. This implies that when we stray or wander off from God, sin is inevitable.

The word “Elul” is similar to the root of the verb “search,” in Aramaic. This is appropriate because this is the time set aside, to search our hearts. This is a season of repentance. This is a time to prepare our ground, searching for any hindrances against our abundant harvest.

During the month of Elul, there are many special observances leading up to the High Holy Days.

The shofar is blown every morning, from the first day of Elul until Rosh Hashanah (except on the Shabbat). Another title for Rosh Hashanah is Yom Teruah or the Blowing of the Trumpets that we talked about yesterday. Yom meaning day, and Teruah meaning blowing: so this is the day of the blowing.

The daily blasts from the shofar are to wake up our spirit and inspire us to do some soul searching. To examine and prepare ourselves in order to make sure we are clean from offence before God and man. This is done to prepare ourselves for the High Holy Days. This is a time that we may need to ask for forgiveness for a wrong we have committed against another. It is also a time to forgive others freely, not to hold ought in our heart against another. This soul searching is to obtain freedom and pardon.

Jesus, while teaching the parable of the Sower, in Matthew 13, tells His disciples it is given to them to know and understand this parable, but not to those or to the others. Who are those others, and does He tells us? He does, when He openly explains the parable to His disciples.

He says hearing they don’t understand, and seeing they do not perceive, for the hearts of this people have grown dull. So Jesus is using the natural senses to explain that there is something much deeper entailed. Their ears are hard of hearing and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should “understand with their hearts” and “turn” so that I would heal them.

Aha we see it. It is their dullness of heart that is keeping them from turning or Teshuvah then reaping a harvest on the seed sown. The seed is the same in each of the four examples describing the condition of the ground. There are four different types of ground described with only one soil  yielding a harvest.

The Lord began to pour out the daily poems of Teshuvah for me a few days before the season began. As I continued writing I saw that He was explaining the love it takes to explore and the commitment required to stay the course with the hard work of preparing our fields and our hearts during this season. Gardening and farming is very hard work, not for the faint of heart, or those who give up easily.

Hardness of heart is deadly to the word of God, just as wayside, stony, or thorny ground is to reaping a harvest, with natural seed.

When Jesus talks about the ground he is referring to our hearts but some didn’t understand. Jesus tells us they closed their eyes. Sometimes I find myself concerned about becoming desensitized with all the conflict and evil around us, but neither do I want to be a bleeding heart, so balance is the key. And now I know another reason I am so in love with this season of repentance or Teshuvah, a time to come away with Him and listen more intently so that I can perceive the heart of My Lord. I never want to close my eyes to the things He is doing. Prophetically understood as a time after a hot dry summer to prepare to bring in the harvest, gather and rejoice, then begin again. The cycles, the seasons, the ways of God, the blessing pronounced to Noah after the flood, as long as the earth remains.

I am so grateful that God, in His infinite wisdom, set aside appointed times to meet with us throughout the year? Calling us away for a time of refreshing.

God knew what was, and He knows what is to come, and has given us Holy appointments. A time to search, a time to prepare and to address every issue, insuring we search or inspect our fields so we are certain they are in good working order.

Each of The Lord’s seven Feasts, are centered around times of harvest and rain. Our Jewish brothers and sisters completely understand the physical patterns and the repetition of the cycle’s and seasons.  The rain comes before the harvest to ripen and nourish the fruit. Then the rains return again to moisten the ground so we can sow our seed for future harvest.

Even if we have had a good crop we still are required to plow the ground to get rid of the stalks and residue. I heard a term this year that I haven’t heard before but it pinged in my spirit. The term used was “set your plows for deep.” I have never heard that saying before.

As I began to think about this phrase and plowing, I saw something. I didn’t see anything new or anything  I didn’t know, but I saw deeper into this action. Plowing is a turning under of the old, or a burial of sorts, and bringing to the surface fresh dirt. Plowing is “turning” the soil. This is to prepare to sow fresh seed into the readied ground, having plowed under the old. What a labor of love, oh what joy?

May we continue to prepare our ground and learn these sharable kingdom truths to help others?

Welcome to Teshuvah my favorite time of the year.

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you. The Lord cause His countenance to rise upon you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette


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