Saturday, September 19, 2020

Crown the King!

Crown the King! It’s Rosh Hashanah / The Feast of Trumpets, and we eat round challah to celebrate the King in our midst as He opens the Books of Life and Death.

I love making this six-strand braided challah “crown” because it reminds me:
  • God created for six days (six strands)
  • He is King of all creation, to the four corners of the earth (four sides/corners)
  • The Old Covenant nation was made of twelve tribes, the New Covenant people began with twelve disciples, and the New Jerusalem will be built on twelve foundations with twelve gates (twelve strand ends)
  • Our Triune God is in all and holds all things together (three strands braided on each side)
  • Our Messiah God is the Bread of Life, Who nourishes and sustains us all with His spirit and His Word
Happy {round} Challah Day 👑 

Friday, September 4, 2020

The King is in the Field

Today, we're exactly in the middle of the Jewish month of Elul.  It's a quiet month.  No official feasts or fasts. 

So all eyes and hearts rest quietly while looking forward, to the first day of next month. 

When the blast of the ram's horn will shatter the silence on Rosh Hashanah.

When those startling blasts will propel us into ten days of repentance leading up to the Day of Atonement.

And when we will close that most holy day on the calendar by praying to be written in God's Book of Life. 

It is a powerful, weighty time. 

So Elul, in its peaceful repose, sits in quiet contrast.

Rabbis teach that during this tranquil month, God is like an ancient king, who would walk through the fields on his way into the city, receiving anyone who would like to approach him before he re-entered the palace. They teach that this is a time when God makes Himself fully accessible, greeting any and all with kindness and compassion before returning to His throne, from which He will dispense judgment and mercy on the High Holy Days. 

It's a beautiful parable, inspired by God's thirteen attributes of mercy toward us, which He shared with Moses in Exodus 34:6-7. And it is undergirded by the understanding that God Most High initiates a relationship with His people. Pursues His people. All of his people.  Even us ordinary workers in the fields.

Then he passed in front of Moses, calling out, “The Lord, the Lord, a compassionate and merciful God, patient, always faithful and ready to forgive. He continues to show his love to thousands of generations, forgiving wrongdoing, disobedience, and sin.  Exodus 34:6-7a GW*

As a Jewish believer in Jesus, I love this parable all the more, because it paints such a beautiful and perfect picture of the Messiah.  Who left His throne and came to walk the fields of the earth with us. To welcome any and all who wished to approach Him, no matter what field they called home. To show the way of mercy.

For the believer, every month is the month of Elul. Because the King is still in the field. Greeting anyone and everyone with kindness and compassion through His Spirit. Drawing anyone and everyone to Himself while He may be found. Lingering in the fields, until that final day. Not wanting anyone to miss their moment to join Him. To enter the sanctuary eternal by His side.

“Your procession, God, has come into view, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.” Psalm 68:24 niv

The King is in the field. With welcoming arms and kind eyes. Whispering words of life. 

*Learn more about God's 13 Attributes of Mercy

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Working or Feasting?

I'm writing here at the dining room table these days, having been displaced by remote learning.  And the truth is, I like it.

Here, I am surrounded by: 

Candlesticks from my grandmother.

China from my husband's great-grandmother.

A pomegranate-embroidered table runner I bought in Jerusalem's Old City with family.

A coffee mug connecting me to a very dear friend. 

A chandelier, hung by my handy husband. 

Wedgwood wall plaques from my father-in-law's parents. 

The table itself, a gift from my very special aunt-in-law. 

And the bible given to me by my "adoptive spiritual parents."

I no longer feel displaced. I feel like I am at home. Feasting on God's Word at a table set by love.