Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Well, I started my day on a fine note. I read the first verse in the reading today… Acts 6:1 Now in those days, when the disciples were multiplying, grumbling arose among the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily support..
Then I began to meditate. Why were the Hellenists “grumbling” when the disciples were multiplying? Oh, the Bible tells us. It’s because their windows were bring overlooked. That’s not a typo. I misread the text and thought this was about overlooked windows. Maybe they were dirty or needed drapes. It took me a while. To say the day got off to a slow start is an understatement.
After I realized my mistake I started to wonder who these Hellenists were, other than grumblers. The Amplified version identifies them as Greek speaking Jews. They were grumbling against the native Hebrew speaking Jews. Not much has changed in 2,000 years.
Rabbi Trail: Let me stop here to tell you something about myself. Strangely, although I see problems easily and completely (and even find solutions to problems once in a while), I don’t like confrontation. Because I don’t like it, I tend to compensate by being overly confrontational.
The key to successful confrontation (all great leaders are able to do this – not that I consider myself a great leader, I just know what great leaders do) is being able to deal straightforwardly with the issues without allowing your relationship with each other to be threatened.
Something else about myself is that I’m very relationally motivated. Relationships are important to me. So I hate written communication (funny for a guy who writes the RR almost daily). An email or text message (especially about a problem) is okay as confirmation after we visit in person, but never ever as a replacement for direct in person interpersonal communication like having a cup of coffee together.
In fact, I’m going to begin returning unread anything that could be said in person with a note that says this, “I’m returning your note unread. Please schedule a meeting so we can discuss your important issues.” End RT.
The Apostles made a decision to appoint others to help with the work of the ministry. We should all seek avenues of service in the kingdom of God. For those already serving, ask God during times of prayer, “Show me, Lord, how I may serve Your community in the future.
This gives me what I want to discuss in the RR tomorrow, so TTFN.
Rabbi Trail: If you don’t know what TTFN means, you don’t know who Tigger is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJFyz73MRcg (This doesn’t tell you either. Maybe I will tell tomorrow.) End RT.
Memory Verse: Acts 4:31 When they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. And they were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
186 9/16 Monday: Acts 2-3
187 9/17 Tuesday: Acts 4-5
* 188 9/18 Wednesday: Acts 6
189 9/19 Thursday: Acts 7
190 9/20 Friday: Acts 8-9
Question of the day: Why do I feel heart broken when I read Acts 6?
Answer: This is the beginning of the martyrdom of Stephen. Three verses capture how I remember Stephen.
Acts 6:8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.
He was so good that he attracted enemies. But Stephen continued to minister in the power of the Spirit.
Acts 6:10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Ruach by whom he was speaking.
Then they arrested him and put him on trial (we’ll get to that tomorrow). But even putting him on trial didn’t slow him down.
Acts 6:15 Watching him intently, everyone who was sitting in the Sanhedrin saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Stephen’s devotion was so complete, even Yeshua honored him. We’ll see how tomorrow.