We had our Feast of Trumpets service last night and it was beautiful. We had seven people from our group there and I had everyone dress in our uniforms with a white t-shirt. They were each to bring a letter to the Lord that had both a deep heart request to Him as well as their New Year’s resolution of things they are committed to doing to renew their covenant with Him. We were then going to have an offering where we bowed on one knee and offered Him our covenant renewals. But at the last minute, the Spirit moved me to wait until Yom Kippur to do that part.
We started with worship, me and Juan on the guitar. We played Lord God of Abraham, Shout to the Lord, Trading My Sorrows and Set a Fire. None of the guys had ever heard them before but it was still an anointed time. I have to admit, if there is one thing I really miss, it’s being with my congregation in live worship. Our worship band was truly amazing and those memories are burned into my soul.
Anyway, after worship I spoke for about 30 minutes and helped the guys understand a bit more about Yom Teruah, the significance of the fall feast days, and how they relate to us today. Some of them have never really been to church so keeping it simple and giving them little bites at a time is really important to their spiritual growth. After that, we all went to the gym and hung out eating my famous prison cheesecake, homemade salsa made with ingredients from the garden, and apples with honey. We talked about the Bible almost the entire time and the new pastor that’s part of our group asked a lot of questions about the Messianic faith. It was a beautiful time and we all really enjoyed it.
Every one of these guys really wants to learn about and grow closer to God. They are real people you’d never guess in a million years were ever in prison if you met them on the street. We have a union carpenter, two small business owners, a pastor, a factory machine worker, a union laborer, and me. And the one thing that holds us all together? Love for one another. Not the commandments, not the feast days, not kosher food. Just love. We’re family. We are real mishpacha. No faking it. No pretending to be mishpacha and then leaving when times get tough. I’m talking about we have each other’s backs. If someone picks on me, the others will make sure that person knows he’s messing with our whole family. When we get mad at each other or get on each other’s nerves, we work through it. There’s no such thing as quitting on each other. The family I have in here is for real and the Father is showing me what real friendship really looks like.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in here it’s that there is no Torah without love. I knew that in my head and preached it from the stage but was never really put in a place where no one knew the Bible, the Torah, or anything about anything until now. The Father has shown me in real time that when no one knows anything, the only thing you have that they can understand is love. That’s where everything starts. I get it now when Yeshua said that the rest of the Law and the Prophets hang off of the two golden commandments of love. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Oh, I’ve been hurt and taken advantage of from loving and thinking the best about people. I’ve had Christians and even other Messianics run me over and take advantage of me. But in the end, love never fails. If we are loving to please our Creator then we’re fulfilling the Law, anyway.
Laugh. Live. Love. I get it.
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