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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

Going Back to School: Another Yearly Rhythm Begins

As a young woman, I never paid much attention to the calendar other than just following it day to day. I knew that there were certain dates that I should pay attention to like New Year’s, Easter, and Christmas. But other than that, I didn’t really have much concept of a year’s rhythm outside of remembering my own birthday.

When I married Mark, I was suddenly introduced to a brand-new calendar. And this calendar didn’t have any of the holidays that I was used to. I tried to do Hanukkah and Christmas at the same time, or attend Passover seder with Mark’s family and Easter service with my family. It was a logistical nightmare for a young mom! There was no time to rest or recover as I tried to live on two different calendars. It was impossible to do, so I let go of little things like birthdays and focused on the holidays that mattered to my little Jewish family of four.

As my two eldest children were growing up, a set schedule for how the year worked fell into place. Amanda and Joseph would start the new school year on the Wednesday after Labor Day. They’d get out of school the week of Memorial Day. The High Holy Days were always in September, Passover was in April, Thanksgiving was the third week of November, Hanukkah was in December and so on and so on. Year after year, life stayed the same and I could depend on it. Sure, the specific days would move but I always knew what season I was in because I could just look outside and know! The trees would turn gold and red and orange when the kids went to school. And by the time the school year ended, the snow melted and the world was green once more.

Ever since we moved to Georgia and entered a new school system with my youngest, my world felt flipped upside down. Suddenly school was starting in August and getting out in May. Then Thanksgiving and Hanukkah were at the same time! That certainly threw off my whole year. Then, I realized that I could no longer track the seasons by looking outside. The trees were still green well into November and the snow usually melted by Valentine’s Day. Every signal I had learned growing up was suddenly gone!

It can be a little overwhelming to suddenly feel like the entire calendar is out of whack. Not to mention “the change” we women eventually deal with in our maturity! But that was the moment when I realized something amazing. Part of why I felt discombobulated was because I wasn’t on God’s calendar! God outlines His timetable very clearly for us. He set the moon in its orbit just so that we would be able to follow Him properly. That’s an entire celestial body – just for us!

See, God didn’t ordain the moon and the stars and the sun for Himself. He did it for us so that we could walk in step with Him. What a wonderful thought! And no matter what calendar you follow out of the forty different types, God gave us everything we would need to follow after Him.

So it really doesn’t matter that there’s less than a month sometimes between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or that the High Holy Days often change between September and October. Or even that the school year in Georgia is starting this week. None of it matters compared to the steadiness of God’s faithfulness, year after year, generation after generation. •

TLV Biblical Calendar
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