We are now in the season of
autumn's biblical High Holy Day festivals. These days are full of
joy and celebration ... but they also lead us to times of soul
searching and repentance.
We find atonement in Yeshua the Messiah, and He is the treasure of our
life together. At the same time we are commanded to repent for our sins,
to examine ourselves, turn toward Him, and then to walk the next stretch
of our lives in a better way.
Now I want to apply this corporately. Many times there are differences
of opinion in the body of Messiah concerning theological teaching and
related issues, what to do or not to do and what is relevant. These
arguments often tear us apart and waste valuable time that could be spent
in bringing forth fruit together as one body in the Lord Yeshua.
God looks at mankind both individually and collectively. At Mount
Sinai we see an interesting thing when reading in the original
Hebrew. [In Hebrew there are several words for "you" - some plural and
some singular.] God spoke to the gathered people of Israel, not in the
plural as many ("you all"), but rather in the singular as one man.
"I am the Lord your (singular) God, who brought you (singular) out of
the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You (singular) shall have
no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:1-3).
From this we draw two conclusions. Firstly, unity needs to be a unity of
the people standing before God as one whole - even with all of our
differences and variety. Secondly, at the same time, the individual,
personal relationship between each one of us with our Father in heaven,
is still unique. Each of us still has our different personalities and
unique qualities. Everyone grows and transitions at his own pace, and we
should not judge or argue about the way in which each one develops and
moves forward. Rather we need to find common ground in the Lord
who is the absolute truth, and to deepen our roots in Him. All the rest
will be added in due time.
"Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in
anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk
by the same ..." (Philippians 3:15-16).
This scripture emphasizes that each of us follows his own path and that
we are not to judge each other nor each other's
congregations. In order to continue to walk we must be faithful where we
are at any given moment. This is relevant in our stages of understanding
and spiritual growth.
When we reach common ground, we put disagreements aside and focus on
being effective together as one body "... avoid foolish disputes,
genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are
unprofitable and useless ..." (Titus 3:9-10). We produce good fruit
abundantly and bring joy to the Lord Who sent us to do good deeds for all
His creatures. At the same time we must not cease learning and growing
and engaging in a healthy "conversation" accompanied with love.
As we celebrate the fall festivals, I want to encourage us all to stop
being judgmental and to start becoming a people who are bearing good
fruit for the kingdom of God together as one, as is expected of