Crown Him King
by Tim O'Hearn
Rosh HaShanah (September 30 in 2008) is characterized by the blowing of the shofar, the ramís horn trumpet. Leviticus 23:23-25, which mandates the blowing of the shofar on this date calls it a memorial of blowing, but gives no details about what is being memorialized.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Some point out it is on that day that man was created. It was also the day on which Abraham offered Isaac (which is why the shofar is specifically a ramís horn). Some say that since man is the crowning achievement of creation, the blowing of trumpets memorialize his creation, just as it also announces the crowning of a new king.
While man is the crowning achievement of creation, and while man is worthy of a certain degree of honor, there is one for whom we should blow the shofar, figuratively or literally, before we celebrate man. After all, what is man but the clay in the potterís hands? ďBut now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.Ē (Isa 64:8)
In New Mexico, each of the pueblos has a distinctive style of pottery. A casual visitor to the state might stop outside the Governorís Palace in Santa Fe and comment about how lovely a pot is, and may even choose to buy it. A more discerning shopper might be able to distinguish between an Acoma pot and a San Jon pot. A true connoisseur will know a black-on-black San Ildefonso from a similar Santa Clara, and may even know a Maria Martinez from one of her copyists. As with much art, the question is often not only how well it was made, but also who made it. So it is with man.
We honor kings and presidents, athletes and artists, and sometimes rightfully so. No matter what a manís accomplishments are, however, he is still a clay pot, destined to be broken. He who is to be honored is the potter himself. What are we but what God makes us? Some of us have been created for great things; others of us are mere chamber pots. Whatever we are, we are exactly what the potter created us for. Just as no collector asks the purpose of a Maria Martinez San Ildefonso, so we must honor each other, but for the God who created us.
Our creator is the king; men are merely his subjects. God is sovereign; we are subservient. The king is sitting in judgement. He is deciding in what ways to bless us, his subjects. He is our creator and sustainer. He gives us what we need to live, and more.
On Rosh HaShanah, when you hear the shofar sound (or even if you donít), crown God as king. Honor him with the honor he deserves. When the shofar blows a hundred times on the holy day, make God the king of your life. And every day, when you wake up, hear the shofar with your mindís ear, and crown him again. Daily make sure God is on his throne. He will be on his throne in heaven. Make sure he is on the on in your heart.
Blow the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. (Ps 81:3)