A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, said some philosopher somewhere and I’m too lazy to look him up.
Faith is like that, y’know. One small step after another leading you closer to the righteousness that God has set aside for you to taste. One small change seems insignificant but, like the rudder on a giant ship, has potential.
Potential. The hidden, unintentional consequence or promise set in motion by a heart fearlessly stepping off the porch and into the fray.
Over 20 years ago, independent of each other, my husband and I shared a vision. We met, married, had babies, sought fellowship, and leaned heavily into the ever present kindness of our God as He built us and shaped us.
As we prayed consistently for Him to reveal Himself through Scripture, we began to see patterns emerge. First in our own lives and then on a grander scale. If I believed in lucky numbers I’d certainly have put money on #7 for our family. I don’t so I choose to see, instead, the sweetness of a Divine Fingerprint all throughout our wanderings.
We began to see how God still cared for, protected, defended, and defined His ancient people, Israel and our zeal to serve her only increased.
“How long, o Lord!” has become a constant plea. How long before we see the vision become reality, how long before He sets our feet on that path that leads not to a place of selfish achievement but of pouring out our own love and compassion for His broken, needy people.
He opened His Word, as He is faithful to do, and we saw the intricate dance of seasons unfolding through the Biblical celebrations. How, thousands of years ago, God gave a blue print of His plan for redemption for not only a rebellious and hardhearted people but the millions of lost who so desperately needed a Saviour.
We see Him in Yeshua, the spotless Passover (Pesach) lamb and in the Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot) where not only was the Spirit poured out but the harvest was gathered in to feed the nations. We see Him in the sound of Trumpet (Yom Teruah) and the story of Creation. A Creator God who lovingly, beautifully, and specifically created a people capable of the greatest friendship in the Universe. We see Him in atonement (Yom Kippur). Our need for His touch to give us the opportunity for a new beginning, a fresh start, a redeemed purpose.
He reveals Himself in the temporary nature of a dwelling (Sukkot)made with hands. Easily built, yet frail. An unfixed and transitory shell that falls in the onslaught of the elements while the treasure inside, the souls who remain, yet praise Him.
I see Him in the lights, the blessings, the celebrations.
Because He, Yeshua, Jesus, did all these things. And will do them again.
I don’t have to stretch the meaning or pervert another celebration in order to fit it to a spiritual climate that “feels” right or supports my interpretation of events.
I practice for eternity. I am changed by the Word and my personal culture is altered to create something which far exceeds the vain striving of a religious subcontext that has demanded Omnipotent God fit into our timetable and social paradigm.
This is a flawed attempt to share a piece of the journey we have been on. One where, in our desire to identify with our Jewish Messiah, we dare to emulate a life cycle which more accurately reflects the 1st Century believer than the neighbor down the street in 2012.
Does this mean I hate Christmas? Hey, I am all over lights, holly, and the requisite smooching under the mistletoe. I know the ancient and pagan roots of most of our Western cultural celebrations and we pick and choose which ones we enjoy. I really don’t give a fig which ones you enjoy. Although I may take an opportunity to encourage you to research the roots of your personal holy days. It’s important to only call those things holy which God, Himself, has declared holy and to put all other things in their rightful place.
We are on a journey. A lifetime of small changes culminating today in a lifestyle characterized by transformation and a willingness to be changed.
At the end of the road, I want to look back and see that, in my weak and wobbling ways, I have pressed on toward the prize.
I want to look like I belong with Him.
My Jewish Messiah.