This part of my journey started most recently when mom invited me and James to go a Shabbat dinner at her friend Susan's house this summer. Susan has this ministry for Messianic Jews and Jewish Christians (I've since learned that they are not the same thing). So, we went and it was good - but then from there, we were invited to go to this Rosh Ha Shanah dinner cruise. James, who isn't always up for the social gatherings, was eager to go (which we did, last Saturday night).
In the meantime, our church started this Wednesday night class on 'Jesus and the Feasts of the Lord.' We both were drawn to it individually, and with lots of enthusiasm, we have been going. So, the week before we went on the cruise, we actually learned about the Feast of Trumpets (which is Rosh Ha Shanah, what the Jews celebrate as their new year). So, it was really special to be able to know the significance of what we were celebrating.
Now, tomorrow evening starts Yom Kippur, and we just learned all about it last Wednesday. It's the Day of Atonement- the holiest and most solemn and sacred day of their year. This week, we will learn about the Feast of Tabernacles, and then we will get to celebrate it over the weekend.
And we have been so astounded by what we are learning. For example, these are the LORD's feasts, his holy days. They are not the man-made holidays that we celebrate now. They were instituted by God himself, so recognizing them has taken on a lot more meaning than I think I felt in celebrating 'Christian' holidays. Somehow, it means more knowing that God himself has initiated this holiday, that it must mean something to him that we recognize it and participate in it. It's like He sent us an invitation for this special occasion with Him and He wants us to show up.
So, we have left each class sort of with our jaws hanging down, just in wonder and awe at God's brilliance and attention to detail. And all of them, pointing to Christ.
On top of that, I listen to Beth Moore online each Monday. The study she is doing right now? The priesthood. And even in devotions at school, we are studying Leviticus. True, I do set the devotion schedule and I did pick Leviticus myself, but the fact that I am even remotely interested in that is a miracle in itself. To me, Leviticus always seemed so tedious, but now - I find myself very intrigued by the hidden mystery in it.
So, it seems like all around us, we have these opportunities to learn about our Jewish roots. And actually, now that I think about it...I did a Bible study about a year and a half ago on the Tabernacle. So, maybe even then, God has been priming the pump.
So far, this has been a most interesting journey...I feel like my eyes are being unveiled to so much I never knew was even there. And, in some ways, I see how far Christianity has strayed. Not that we necessarily need to be Jewish, but the roots of Christianity is Judaism. It's where we come from - it's not cut off and separate, but the roots of our faith. And it ALL FORESHADOWS the coming of Jesus. All the celebrations, all the rituals, all the offerings...everything God instituted was a proclamation of His Son to come.
And that is what I have been most astounded by...the intricasy of God's plan. Whoa...every detail, every prophecy, every event in history, every image, symbol and motif - the utter consistency in all of the layers of Scripture. His weaving in every minute detail...it is all a thread in the same tapestry. In one way or another, God was saying the same thing. He was announcing the same thing...and those who had ears to hear...got it.
For the first time, I think, I am appreciating the rich heritage of my salvation. The coming of Jesus and His sacrifice is huge, it's central, it's everything - don't get me wrong. But I feel like we miss so much, the enormity of God's plan if we miss all the prepartion leading up to it...the painstaking attention to every detail, spanning centuries - for the purpose of rescuing humanity. Rescuing me.
Everything prior to His coming was all preparation for His coming. Everything.