Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, August 19, 2021 

Shalom *|FNAME|*,

Our Congregational Declaration – part 4:   

Rabbi Trail:  What I really want to talk about today is that our relationship with God is a relationship of grace.  God is offering us Himself, through His Son, and we want to make it about us and our performance.  Grace relationships last (because grace is eternal), but works relationships all fail (because works always fall short eventually); today’s hero is tomorrow’s goat.  Today I remind myself of the guy who uses his right hand to scratch his left ear (think about it), not very efficient.  End RT.  

There are so many things both right and wrong with our first Declaration.  (I plan to get to the second Declaration next week.)   Let’s just examine the first few words.  

Quote:  “Shomair is called to be a house of prayer and worship.”  

Rabbi’s Comment: What could be wrong with prayer and worship?  Potentially nothing.  These are great callings.  We have answered well the call to worship.  Our answer to God’s call to prayer is still in need of… well, prayer!  I’m not going to go far with this.  I’m just expressing my gut feeling that we can do more in the area of prayer.  Rabbi’s note – We will never attain the fullness in any area of spiritual discipline, but we can grow in our capabilities.  End RN.

Quote:  “We understand that the more we press in, and the deeper we go with God, the more we will be surrounded by His presence.  So we will strive.”

Rabbi’s Comment: The idea of “pressing in” and “going deeper” connotes a works relationship with God.  But our relationship with God is based on grace, His grace freely given to us.  This is what is wrong with the Declaration.  “Pressing and going” are action words that deal with striving.  The next sentence even mentions striving specifically.  

But our calling is not to strive with God, but to enjoy His presence (it’s the same with each other).  It’s not about striving and works, but about rest and peace.  When we have entered HIs rest, we have entered His peace.  We should be comfortable in “blessed assurance” that God loves us and takes pleasure in us.  

We don’t have to strive to earn His love, we just have His love based on the completed work of His Son, Whom we have received as our Lord and Savior.  That’s the grace based relationship available to us today.  It’s that heart of flesh and not that heart of stone.  Let’s keep our hearts soft.  Shalom. 

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Thu 19 Aug 2021 11th of Elul, 5781

De 23:25-24:4Joel 32 Ch 8(Ac 2)Heb 8

Week 34
Memory Verse: John 6:37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and anyone coming to Me I will never reject.

166   8/16  Monday:       John 6

167   8/17  Tuesday:      Matthew 19:16-30

168   8/18  Wednesday: Luke 15-16

169   8/19  Thursday:     Luke 17:11-37; 18

170   8/20  Friday:          Mark 10