We are about to enter a very significant month, which begins on a very important day: August 21, 2017, the day of the solar eclipse.

Last year we decided that from now on, besides the Feast of Trumpets, as a church, we will observe all the fall feasts on the Jewish calendar: the Feast of Trumpets, then ten days later, Feast of Atonement, followed by the joyous Feast of Tabernacles.

The ancient Hebrews, however, began their preparations for the fall holidays with a thirty-day period of meditation and personal repentance during the month of Elul —which starts Monday, August 21. Count thirty days until the Feast of Trumpets, then add ten days between Trumpets (September 21-22) and Atonement, and there is a forty day preparation for the national the day of Atonement

Elul is actually an acronym in Hebrew for, “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.” Elul is a time for God’s people to return to their first love and to prepare for the call of the Trumpet and the Day of Atonement and Feast of Tabernacles. The significance of all this is causing me to rejoice in God’s meticulous plans for His people. Moses spent forty days on the mountain receiving God’s Words. Jesus spent forty days fasting in the wilderness, confronted by Satan.

Forty days is no coincidence.

And neither is the appearance of a solar eclipse on the first day of Elul.

According to Hebrew scholar Mark Biltz, “It was on Elul 1 that Jonah left for 40 days to tell Nineveh to repent. It was on Elul 1 that Moses went up to Mt. Sinai after the sin of the Golden Calf, trying to make atonement while Israel was repenting for that. It was on Elul 1 Jesus went out into the wilderness for 40 days, coming out on Yom Kippur. Elul 1 starts the month of repentance and to have the solar eclipse happening at this time, is of huge significance!”

The heart of Elul is expressed in Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
 The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?… One thing I have desired of the Lord,
that will I seek:
 that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
 all the days of my life.”

Let’s rejoice together!