Greetings from Washington DC! Though it is not quite the “Shalom from Jerusalem” I offered in November 2015, it is a reunion with the same friends (and more) from the Christian Leadership Seminar I attended at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and Research Center. You can check out my reports from that seminar beginning November 28 2015.
The current gathering is a multi-purpose gathering, sponsored by the same groups who sponsored the seminar in Jerusalem (Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and Museum of the Bible). We’re hosted at the expense of Museum of the Bible and are very blessed by their generosity and commitment to building bridges between Jews and Christian, and we are mindful that to whom much is given, much is required.
Thursday night was a very special evening. Graduates of the Christian Leadership Seminars have been invited to take part in the first ever refresher/reunion. About 8-10 graduating classes are represented and it is such a pleasure to be back in the company of the “family” that I grew to love when I shared that time in Jerusalem with about 29 others. (Our class is well-represented with well over 20 attending this event!)
The night also celebrated the 10th anniversary of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem and the accomplishments made in those 10 years. We also heard from Cary Summers, President of Museum of the Bible (MOB), as he shared his heart and the heart of MOB. It was moving to hear how they are reaching out to Israel and the Jewish people in absolutely astounding ways through museums (they hope to put one on every continent), research, education (they are launching a very unique Bible study curriculum in Israel), tours (including young people, pastors and “influencers”) to Israel. They are seeing the Lord do abundantly miraculous things as they bless Israel. (Hmmmm….I think the Bible says something about blessing Israel. Check it out for yourself: Genesis 12:3). We also heard from a holocaust survivor in her 90’s beseeching Christians and Jews to reconcile differences and make the world a better place.
Most importantly, however, we were all witnesses to the signing of a very important agreement between Yad Vashem and Museum of the Bible. Shaya Ben Yehuda (Managing Director of the International Relations Division of Yad Vashem…and a very good friend of Christians!) and Cary Summers signed official documents of their partnership in building the relationship between Christians and Jews, and Summers was given a key to Yad Vashem. Why is this document so important? It is a signed covenant between Christian and Jewish organizations to do what God calls us all to do in these last days! They are certainly not the only organizations involved in such efforts, but their commitment to one another is now in covenant as they move forward.
BTW, check out this “fly through” of the Museum of the Bible (to open here in DC in 2017), which we were awed by last night:
We will tour the facility later today (Friday), and have already been given a glimpse of some of the million dollar artifacts that will be housed in the museum (including very significant Torah portions). Once it opens, it is expected to draw 3 million people per year, making it one of the 10 largest museums in America (3rd largest in DC). Imagine…3 million people being exposed to the Word of God in a setting that will be undeniably powerful. The museum will also emphasize the part that Judaism plays.
Without the Bible there would be no Christianity, and without Judaism there would be no Bible!
~Shaya Ben Yehuda
I am reminded of what critical times we live in. As I reflected yesterday, we serve a great God who is always on the throne, thus we don’t have to live in fear of the chaos overtaking our world. But are we always about our Father’s business? God’s Word is the foundation upon which we live, and the connection to Israel is undeniable.
I plan to post updates over the next few days. However, seminar days are long and jam-packed, so keep checking…I’ll eventually provide summaries!