One of the things I've learned in my time off is that the number 8 is the number of new beginnings. I learned this from a TV preacher that I normally wouldn't watch, but something kept me tuned in. I had heard this idea from a couple of different places, but this guy went through the Bible, highlighting number "8" passages. A couple caught my attention - there were eight people in Noah's Ark, symbolizing a new beginning. David was the eighth son of Jesse, symbolizing a new dynasty. Hebrew children were circumcised on the eighth day of their lives - symbolizing a new cycle of life.
In subsequent research (I had to learn more about "8"), I learned of a Jewish festival called "Shemini Atzeret", the "eighth day assembly." It came after the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkoth. Leviticus 23:33-44 declares that the Feast of Tabernacles is to be celebrated for seven full days. Seven is the number of completion and the final day celebrates the completion of the harvest. The eighth day begins a new growth cycle, therefore a holy convocation is called for, a time of worship which, in Jewish tradition, would include a prayer for rain for the new growing season. The eight day was a new beginning.
Christ was raised on the "eight day" of the week - the ultimate evidence of a new beginning.
What is God saying through all of this? Is 2008 the year of new beginnings as the TV preacher said? Still seeking, praying and waiting for clarity ... thankful that God is always a God of new beginnings.