Today is bikhat hachama. The day when observant Jews bless the sun.
This year, 2009, and the Jewish year, 5769, birkhat hachama falls on April 8. This is celebrated because it believed to be the day that the sun was created, and the sun returns to the position when it was created on the fourth day of the week (Wednesday) at the start of spring, which occurs in the month of Nissan.
Birkat hachama occurs only once every 28 years and this year, it is particularly auspicious because the sun is in that exact position not only on the first Wednesday, it is occuring on the 14th of the month of Nissan, the day before Passover.
According to experts who observe and study the movement of the sun and the months, there are only three other occurrences over 6000 years of Jewish history when the sun is in this exact position at this particular day in Nissan. It is during the Passover during the actual Exodus, the miracle during Purim and today.
Its observation is a very simple ceremony of praising the Lord with a short blessing. The blessing takes several minutes and is done between specific three hours in the morning.
I find these details about astronomy interesting. Science has taught us much about the order of the universe. The more that research has dug deeper into discovering things and events and natural phenomena, the more amazed am I by the order of how all these are set in place. To me, watching the moon change from new moon to full moon and the season from winter to spring is to wonder at nature, and a reminder of the rhythm of life and history.
As a believer that God is the maker of all these, it underlines to me not only his omniscience but also makes me wonder at where His Word has promised it will point to.
Some observant Jews look in anticipation at what auspicious event will occur at this birkhat hachama. There is hope of the coming of the Messiah.
I love seeing how nature displays that the LORD has set a time in motion. I love recognizing in nature the order that He has set in place. Whether it is about the complexities of the DNA or the moving of the planets and stars, such scientific knowledge is a reminder of a God with a plan who has set his laws in place.
His laws of nature are just the tip of the iceberg, I think. How complex are his spiritual laws; I know they must be just as orderly and sure. The spiritual laws that guide me personally is one thing. Like the north star, they direct me back to him when I wander off-course.
I trust his plan of redemption—the plan that one day Jesus will come and restore the heavens and the earth—is just as secure and it's prediction sure. Birkhat hachama is the day to bless the sun.
During this passover season, as we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus, let us bless the Lord of all, maker and master of the universe—the divine creator who has set in place all that is in the physical and spiritual, in the world and in the heavenlies.
Let us bless the Son.