Inside Israel- to those who “do” and those who “don’t”

“Hi!” and welcome to a look inside Israel. Today J of Jerusalem shares about how He has the power to rent the veils of traditions. I hope and pray this encourages you in your faith. God bless you and thank you! Now, here’s J . . .

HE IS RISEN, INDEED! (I am in Jerusalem, and I am living proof…trying to be a living witness to that fact here among my people)

When we left ‘the old country’ more then 16 years ago now, the traditional holidays were evolving among many (not all) ‘real’ Christians. It was happening spontaneously all over the country and in other countries as well as some tender souls became saddened by the commercialization of some traditions and often an exposure of ‘roots’ of traditions that didn’t fit the way they wanted to express their love for The Lord, for their wonder at His birth and resurrection. I know that many of you no longer celebrate them in the traditional ways, AND, that others (EQUALLY AS SPIRITUAL) do…so it’s funny, but I find myself ‘torn’ by wanting to wish those of you who ‘DO’ the blessing of finding HIM in the midst, and perhaps a way to share…while not ‘offending’ those who DON’T. WHEW! Did you follow that??)

Now… I, personally, do NOT celebrate them according to tradition, but because my husband has deep roots in some of those traditions (and currently NOT deep roots in Him Who it is about), I look to Jesus who “A bruised reed shall He not break and a smoldering flax shall He no quench; He shall bring forth judgment unto truth.” Isa 42:3

All of that said… it is always a TOTAL WONDER in me that certain days have been set aside to recognize HIS miraculous, silent, birth…and HIS triumph and victory over death and the grave! Much of the world ‘stops’ … and some people are curious and others people, like my husband, are just a bit more tender at that time…what an opportunity!

With all of that in mind, I rose early and read the last chapter of Luke before waking my husband. I doesn’t matter WHAT day I read the last chapter of Luke…it is ALWAYS full of wonder! Since my husband’s heart attack he leaves the house at about 6:30 to get to rehab for exercise by 7 and be back to work by 9. Since I don’t work on Sun, I went with him today (in vain) HOPING that PERHAPS he would agree to go to the Garden Tomb after rehab since it is ‘along the way’ and I was hoping it would stir him. While I waited for him at rehab, I was confronted by the ‘silent’ tv screen. It was a Christmas movie. Humorously, many of the movies on tv this week were Hollywood versions of Christmas. I was saddened by how totally secular it appeared to be. Still thinking about that, after rehab I went to the shuk, since today is a ‘duel holiday’ (I love when that happens!) – the last day of Pesach and once again a festive meal will usher in a full day of rest. As I said ‘hag semach!’ to so many vendors and fellow shoppers, I could picture their joy at learning ‘He is risen indeed!’ and pray that day would be soon.

HOWEVER…something struck me on the bus. Two young women sat in front of me, either tourists or foreign students from the west. They were happy and I was wondering if they came from the Garden Tomb, or another early morning service. As they got up to leave I saw that one was carrying a bag of meat and the other, without a bag, two loaves of bread. It stood out starkly at the culmination of Passover. First of all, because she didn’t have the bread in a bag…but mostly because it was ‘bread’. It is Pesach and there is no bread available in the Jewish part of Jerusalem… and it is an offense to most people to see it during this time when Exodus 12:49 says “One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you”. It actually has the same effect as seeing a person nude in the street.

I DO have a point in this long diatribe. Seeing those girls with the bread made me think again about the Christmas movie that played this morning…and the other Christmas movies that Israelis seem so intrigued by. How SAD that this is their perception of Christians (AND Resurrection day apparently)! With the limited exposure that most of my people have to our Messiah, how SAD that the enemy takes such occasion to again and again slander His Name before my people whom He came to save. If these girls were ignorant of or didn’t care about the Passover… couldn’t they at least be sensitive to the culture of the area that they were visiting?

BUT!!! WITH JOY I REMEMBER BACK TO MY OWN EXPERIENCE!! I had NEVER heard a witness of Him…Who He was or Who He is and what He had done…and my exposure to these holidays were the same that I had just seen…BUT! THE ONE WHO’S POWER IS STRONGER THEN DEATH IS ALSO MORE POWERFUL THEN THE ENEMY’S TOOLS AND DISTORTIONS…AND AS HE RENT THE GRAVE, HE ALSO RENT MY HEART AND MIND AND REVEALED HIMSELF IN SPITE OF THE DISTORTIONS I HAD SEEN UP UNTIL THEN! HALLELUYAH!!!!!!

WHAT LOVE!

How much bigger He is then all of our limitations!

So…whether you celebrate holidays traditionally, or not at all…I am sure that we can all rejoice over the fact that HE IS RISEN INDEED! May He SOON (now!) reveal Himself to my brothers and sisters in the flesh! God bless you all. May we be ‘wise as serpents and gentle as doves’ for His glory.

ani b’derek

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