Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, June 3, 2020
A N N O U N C E M E N T S
- On Shabbat we will be restarting our Bible study class at 9:30am. Remember the one we used to have before everything was shut down? This week the discussion will be on Isaiah chapters 52 and 53. We probably should take the rest of the year just to discuss those two chapters.
- Those two chapters will also be the subject of my message in the Shabbat service this week. I haven’t written it yet, but it should be good. There is plenty of material from which to develop a message that will lead to change for the better (which is my goal every time I speak).
- The calendars for June and July are ready. They are online at syknox.org and as “jpeg” images in this RR. In particular, please make note of the following:
- This week we will also resume serving communion at the end of the Shabbat morning worship service. If you are more comfortable, for health reasons, with courteous and efficient self-service, feel free to bring your own elements.
- For five weeks of Sunday night classes (4-6pm) beginning 6/14 the Taylors will host 10 video lessons (2 each week) from FFOZ on Shabbat in a New Covenant context. Go to https://syknox.org/the-sabbath/ for more information, to register and to purchase the book online. We must have at least 10 participants to conduct the class.
- We are resuming our monthly Erev Shabbat gatherings on June 19th at 6pm. This month, Rabbi is cooking chicken and rice. Please bring a salad, side, dessert, or challah to share. Candle lighting and Kiddush at 6pm, followed by dinner. The one hour Kabbalat Shabbat service will begin at 7pm.
- There will be a Young Adults Gathering (YAG) following the service on June 20th beginning at 2pm.
- The Shomrim Tze’irim (young watchmen) 3rd annual summer camp will take place this year from July 27- 31. Registration is open through 6/12 at https://syknox.org/summercamp/ . The camp charges only a fraction of the actual cost to the campers. To make a donation to the camp fund, click here https://syknox.org/donate/
That’ the end of the announcements. Yesterday, we left off with mention of the benefits of an enriched prayer life. We also said that an enriched prayer life is only available in the spirit (and not in the flesh). The flesh can say prayers, but only the spirit can mean them and receive life from them. The flesh “strives” (works) while the spirit rejoices in fellowship.
Rabbi Trail: In our recent online Tikkun Restore (both the leaders and the family weekend) Conference, there was a lot of talk about the value of Covenant Relationships. Side note: if you haven’t read the book by Asher Intrater by that name, it is excellent. https://tikkun-103991.square.site/product/covenant-relationships/28?cs=true and its sister book Relational Leadership by Dan Juster https://tikkun-103991.square.site/product/relational-leadership/18?cs=true End SN. Building our relationships with each other is not something we do after we finish the work of God, building relationships with each other IS the work of God. 1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep your love for one another constant, for “love covers a multitude of sins.” Romans 12:10 Be tenderly devoted to one another in brotherly love; outdo one another in giving honor. End RT.
To be clear, the flesh is crucified while the spirit lives. The lifeline to the life of the spirit is prayer. The “born again” experience is the opportunity to live without shame before God. The first thing Adam and Eve did after the “fall” is to hide in shame. And mankind has been hiding from God ever since. Let us enter into our destiny with God through prayer and live!
Memory Verse: Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement for our shalom was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us turned to his own way. So Adonai has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
111 6/1 Monday: Isaiah 6; 9
112 6/2 Tuesday: Isaiah 44-45
* 113 6/3 Wednesday: Isaiah 52-53
114 6/4 Thursday: Isaiah 65-66
115 6/5 Friday: Micah 1; 4:6-13; 5
Question of the day: These 2 chapters of Isaiah (52 & 53) are my text for the message on Shabbat. How fun! The question for today comes as a phrase out of the middle of Isaiah 52:7 … “Who announces Yeshua?”
Answer: Before we answer that, let’s understand the context a little. The full text of Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces shalom, who brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Who is heralding “good news?” You might be tempted to say, “We all are.” And you would be right. But the one who perfectly exemplified this prophesy is John the Immerser. The “good news” is to “tell Zion that ‘your God reigns.’” (Aren’t you glad God is on the throne, reigning from Zion?) We all have His mandate to proclaim the good news (Gospel).
The Hebrew word for “announces” is “Shema,” which we all know very well means “hear” or “listen.” How is it that Hebrew uses the same Hebrew word (Shema) for both listening and proclaiming? My amplified translation would be, “Proclaim in a way that causes others to listen.”
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheynu Adonai Echad.) This is the more famous “Shema.” Notice that “God” is mentioned 3 times in the six Hebrew words, twice by His four letter name, and once by His name “El.” (The full meaning of “Eloheynu” is “He is our God.”)
In the next verse (we can only study one verse at a time) the excitement is that every eye will see Yehovah RETURN to Zion. Isaiah 52:8 The voice of your watchmen— they will lift up their voices. Together they are shouting for joy! For they will see eye to eye when Adonai returns to Zion. Good news? Not just that He came, but that He is coming again! And there it is, prophesied by Isaiah, 700 years before Yeshua came even the first time, and 2700 years before today. To “return” Yeshua has to come once and then come again. For those of you who remember our beloved friend, the late Paco Plaillero, “Now that’s finger lickin’ good.” And good news we should all proclaim in Zion.