Adar – It’s the last month of the Hebrew calendar year. This year, there are two months of Adar. It’s “leap year”, not only does our month of February have 29 days, but the Jewish calendar has Adar I and Adar II, to keep the lunar months in sync with the seasons.
(FYI: Adar I is the added month, while Adar II is the regular month; so the feasts of Purim, beginning at sunset on the 14th of Adar, from the book of Esther falls in Adar II.)
This "leap year" or extra month of Adar also creates a wider gap between Passover (the feast commanded in Exodus that pointed to the death of the Messiah, the Lamb of God) and the traditional "Easter" (a variation of pagan holiday reclaimed by Constantine and made official by the Nicean Council, celebrated by many Christians on the first Sunday after the spring equinox, which often occurs near the Passover in the month of Nisan). That is why Easter will fall in March this year (2016) and the Passover (always at twilight on the 14th day of the first month, Nisan) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (seven days beginning on the 15th of the first month) will be in April.
The challenge for the month of Adar is two parts:
This month begins on “Ash Wednesday”, 40 days before Easter. Do a little research on the history of these holidays. Spend some time with your Jewish calendar and reflecting on the biblical feasts and the Passover (especially if you did not have time in Tishrei).
(If you’ve ever needed a “fresh-start”, you certainly have one in the up-coming month Nisan, the first month of the calendar, and the Passover. This “Leap Year” has certain put me in a reflective “restart” mood. You can check out the “Get Ready to LEAP” tools with links to all the “PRAY 7 Days” posts on the “1-1-1-1” page. These are not part of our Retreat Challenges, but wanted to make you aware of them incase you hadn’t seen them yet.)
Reflect on your “Easter” traditions. Ask the LORD how He would want you to remember His death and resurrection. Intentionally choose how you will celebrate this year …
- privately with your family,
- and personally in your heart before the LORD.
Enjoy finishing the gospels and the accounts of Jesus’s death and resurrection as you wrap up the primary challenge of meditating on the life and words of Christ.
You may have noticed that we did not have a soundtrack this year. That’s because we are going to do this together. We will each choose one song that fits this year’s theme of “Jesus”, “grace”, or “truth”.
If you bring a CD or link (such as youtube) for your song, I will have my computer or ipad system to play it when we meet for a special time of worship.
You can make a list of multiple songs to share, but be sure to choose a #1 favorite.
Counting Down to Our Retreat
I hope you enjoy wrapping up your challenges. Don’t forget to choose your special word and be ready to share about it for 10 minutes or so, devotion style like we do at our teas. Each evening at diner or during dessert, one of us will share the significance of the word we chose and encourage the others with the insights we have learned. — It doesn’t have to be “fancy”, just special to you! — This is just one more opportunity for us to know each other better and go deeper in our relationships.
(And, don’t worry if more than one of us chose the same word; I’m sure we will each have a different perspective and will only appreciate the other’s thoughts more because of it’s timeliness.)
LOVE YOU, LADIES!!!!!! Praying for you everyday!!!!!
Start your countdown. It won’t be long.