The sound of the shofar is synonymous with Yom Kippur. For me, the sound says "Pay Attention!"
Think of a moment recent or far past that you have paused to listen. Think of a moment when you have paused at all, paused to hear that inner voice – paused to recognize the holy - - paused to recognize the man beside you, the child within you, the brush of grass against your skin. In these moments we glimpse something beyond a blinking screen or quick sound bite. We connect. We are a part of something bigger. It takes these moments to move to deeper moments or we are stuck in perpetual shallow living. We are stuck in the wants of now and a land of no regret. I know that can be an easy place to reside, but it does not deepen and indeed leads to eventual pain.
Yom Kippur is a time of concentration on the past so that the future may have better return. Yom Kippur calls persons to look beyond simply becoming better individuals, but also becoming a better human community.
If you have done a wrong, ask forgiveness. If you can find forgiveness for others, give it. We are connected in relationships of all kinds. We have neighbors, friends, teachers, co-workers, children, lovers.
We all have behaviors that we can examine. I can think of so many things about which I could ask forgiveness, yet I often let them pass. I could ask my children to forgive my impatience after a long day. I could ask my dog Baldur to forgive me for not walking him as often as he needs. Yet if I am too busy writing my sermon, posting on Facebook, and doing everything but paying attention to the persons I am with, then I miss this opportunity. I miss an opportunity to connect.
I am missing the holy.