Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, December 24, 2019 

Shalom Christmas *|FNAME|*, 

I know, you were expecting me to continue writing on the seven Spirits of the Lord.  The next one will be the Spirit of knowledge.  The Lord led me in a different direction.  I hope you approve.  Maybe we’ll continue with the seven Spirits tomorrow.  

Last Shabbat I spoke these words to a friend , “It takes a real man to wear a pink shirt.”  Well it takes a real Messianic Jew to add “Christmas” to “Shalom” on Christmas Eve.  There are many Messianic Jews who are Christmas phobic.  As my kids used to say, “One, two, three, not me.”  

Still I couldn’t bring myself to start today’s RR with a great big “Merry Christmas.”  Nevertheless, why fight Christmas?  Besides, I’ve never met anyone who was convicted that December 25th is really the birthday of the Savior.  

So, if we all know Christmas is not really the birthday of Yeshua, why be bothered if the largest part of the Christian world wants to throw Him a party?  Join in the fun in non-pagan (holy) ways and let the light of Yeshua shine during an otherwise bleak winter. 

Does the Bible command that we celebrate the birth of Yeshua?  If so, I must have missed it.  Please show me.  We memorialize His Yahrzeit (pronounced “Yar-Tzeit”), meaning the date of His death with the Lord’s Supper (aka “table of the Lord,” aka “communion”).  And that’s where I’m going with the rest of this message.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

“As often” is quite often and I am recommending it.  Personally, I’m doing it daily and it is giving new meaning to Shalom (see the RT below).  To come to the table of the Lord and thank God for His blessings while submitting the evening and day to come to His authority is the highest spiritual warfare available to any believer.

Rabbi Trail:  The world is looking for shalom and not finding it.  Shalom is not induced by alcohol consumption or drug abuse.  Shalom is not found in some “est” meditation.  Shalom is not forcing the flesh into submission through some “serenity now” mantra.  (There was an episode of Seinfeld, which I cannot recommend, that ended with these words, “serenity now means insanity later.”)  

Then, what is Shalom?  Shalom is filling that void we are all born into.  Something is missing and everyone is looking for it.  What’s missing is what was taken from us in the Garden of Eden; our relationship with God.  And relationship with God includes recognizing this verse.  Matthew 28:18 And Yeshua came up to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.”  How much authority does that leave for you and me?  Lastly, shalom is complete wholeness that lacks nothing. Two synonyms would be “perfect” and “blameless.”  

Genesis 17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, Adonai appeared to Abram, and He said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Continually walk before Me and you will be blameless.”

This was spoken to Abram as God was detailing the covenant between them.  Genesis 17:7 Yes, I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, in order to be your God and your seed’s God after you.

The completion of that covenant is what we celebrate at the table of the Lord.  Colossians 2:10 and in Him you have been filled to fullness. (Made complete). He is the head over every ruler and authority.

Abrahams’s covenant was sealed in circumcision.  The completion of that covenant is also sealed with circumcision.  The scriptures confirm this.  Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision done not by hand, in the stripping away of the body of the flesh through the circumcision of Messiah. … 13 When you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with Him when He pardoned us all our transgressions.

Week 52
Memory Verse:  Revelation 21:3 I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God. 4 He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.”

256   12/23    Monday:        Revelation 2 

* 257 12/24    Tuesday:       Revelation 3

258   12/25    Wednesday:  Revelation 19:6-20

259   12/26    Thursday:      Revelation 21

260   12/27    Friday:           Revelation 22

Question of the day:  What will your reputation get you?

Answer:  According to Revelation 3, not much.  We look good and smell good and think we are good.  I have bad news.  All the perfume in the world won’t make us smell good enough to be acceptable to God.

The chapter starts with an acknowledgement of the good reputation of Messiah’s community in Sardis.  

Revelation 3:1b …you have a reputation for being alive…  This reputation (like all of them) is based on works.  But there is something that goes beyond works.  In Hebrew we call it “Kavena,” meaning “intension.”

Intension relates to purpose and focus.  It takes what you do from your head and moves it to your heart.  And we all know God wants our hearts.  

So, while Sardis has a good reputation, the reality is something else.  Revelation 3:1b …but you are dead.  We are all dead in our sins, until Yeshua wakes us up through an infusion of His life.  His life touches us and we are resurrected with Him into new life.

Yes, and let’s not lose the value of repentance.  Revelation 3:3 So remember what you have received and heard—keep it, and repent.  Apparently, repenting is something that should be done on an ongoing basis.  

I love the way the Bible uses word pictures to make a point.  Revelation 3:4 “But still, you have a few people in Sardis who have not stained their clothes. They will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. 5 The one who overcomes thus will be dressed in white clothes; I will never blot his name out of the Book of Life, and will confess his name before My Father and His angels.

Yes, we all want to be among those dressed in white.  To do this requires dying to self.  Luke 9:23 Then Yeshua was saying to everyone, “If anyone wants to follow Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross every day, and follow Me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.

Let’s pray… Father in heaven, let this message be our wake up alarm.  Father, some of us have been sleep-walking through life.  We confess we look good and smell good, but you are not fooled.  We repent of sin before you and offer a sacrifice of praise to You Who have all authority.  Make us new in You through faith in Messiah Yeshua.  Give us robes of righteousness through Your Son Yeshua and His perfect work on the cross.  We give thanks as we agree with Your Word, “Glory to God in the highest.”  In Yeshua’s name, amen.