Hi everyone! The Leadership Briefing and Summer Conference hosted by ICEJ-US is off to a great start! I always feel so “at home” in a crowd of people who share the same deep love and support for Israel that I do. A few hundred have gathered here from all over the US, and we’ve come for at least two reasons: to grow deeper in our understanding of Israel’s importance to us as believers (see here, for example), and to worship the Holy One of Israel…the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, when the shofar was blown to call us to worship last night, I experienced a tiny bit of heaven here on earth! If you have never experienced the blowing of the shofar, inviting worshippers to “get their praise on,” you have missed a grand experience! Not to worry, though…I’m sure there will be shofar-blowing in heaven!
Following a time of Messianic worship (worshipping the God of Israel from a Christian perspective), we were challenged to know and understand Israel’s place in God’s plan of redemption, and to be proactive in our support of Israel. How true it is: somehow people with political agendas seem to coalesce and do what is necessary to advance their agenda. (No need for me to provide examples of that in this day and age. Just watch the news.) Yet, my generation has witnessed the decline of the church to the greatest degree in US history. That saddens me. But it should exhort us to do something!
Sadly, in a season that is difficult to simply get believers to gather together as Scripture teaches (Hebrews 10:24-25), it seems almost impossible to get multitudes involved in Biblical actions such as blessing Israel (Genesis 12:3), praying for Israel (Psalm 122:6-9), and standing strong with Israel. (Most certainly there are other “non-Israel-related” things that believers could/should be involved in as well.)
Thus, as those who love Israel and have gone to the time and expense to be here, we were encouraged not to lose heart, but to press on in our commitment and in our encouragement to others. If we are to truly understand the times in which we live, we simply must understand God’s purpose in and through the Jewish people. Indeed, our Christian roots are tied to that!
The evening ended as powerfully as it began: with a medley of one of my favorite songs in Hebrew (“Kadosh”) and “Days of Elijah!” The house rocked with a whole bunch of English speakers doing our best to sing in Hebrew one moment, then transitioning into:
“Behold, He comes, riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet’s call;
Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee,
Out of Zion’s hill salvation comes!”
But, Psalm 100 does say to make a joyful noise! Paul Wilber, a world-renown Messianic Jew, led us, and if you have never heard the song “Kadosh” in Hebrew, check it out:
Shalom from Nashville! I’ll share more as time allows!