Since my return from Israel, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I am very blessed to have not one, but two jobs. The funds give me the freedom to host gatherings for family and friends, and to give when the Lord presents a need or organization. I am by no means wealthy, but I live indoors, eat when I’m hungry, have reliable transportation, clothes on my back…you get the picture. There are a lot of people who can’t say that, so what I am about to write might sound bratty to some. But what’s been going on in my head is that I wish I had more time to write, to learn, and to minister.
I have so many things I want to do, ideas I feel compelled to implement. But as I start pursuing these things, an email or phone call comes from work and there is an issue to resolve, a new policy to enforce and on and on. But God.
But I know God’s timing is perfect, so He will accomplish what He wants in me and through me. I just don’t want to lag behind, or ignore an imperative.
For instance, when I got back from Israel, it was strong on my heart that we need to start a letter writing campaign to let the people of Israel know that they are not alone. I think about it nearly every day since my return. And yesterday, I saw an article by Sarah Tuttle-Singer entitled, ‘Please Tell Us We Are Not Alone‘. Exactly what God has been prompting me to do.
But that’s not what this post is about. This post is a simple, but explosive lesson God showed me today, and if I don’t get it out immediately, it will sit in my draft box and may never make it to light.
Now, if you read a recent post, you know that I looked back into my Episcopal past to tap into liturgy. Part of doing this was picking up the book by John Howe, ‘Our Anglican Heritage‘. I read the first four chapters when I first picked it up, and it’s been sitting on my coffee table since then. Well, this morning I picked it up again and started reading the chapter ‘The Worldwide Anglican Communion’. And that’s when an explosion of truth and connection to the Jews rocked my world!
Howe was discussing the Church of England and the worldwide expansion of the fellowship of independent churches as the British Empire’s influence grew. All the churches were subject to their bishops back in England. But as the colonies gained their independence, so did the churches. Each ended up “self-governing and autonomous under God.”
But they are Anglican churches, nonetheless. They own a common heritage doctrinally, liturgically, and, with local modifications, organizationally. More importantly, they are in communion with each other. In its simplest form, to be in communion with another church is to be able to receive the sacraments, particularly Holy Communion, in that church.
I was instantly overwhelmed with so many thoughts and realizations!
First, I remembered the rally I attended for Israel. There, it hit me that every Jewish person is related to each other. They are all family and they know it. They all share a common father, Jacob.
Second, I remembered what God said about the Passover lamb. Only those who have been circumcised can partake of the lamb.
Then, I remembered the catechism classes when I was a child, preparing for my first Holy Communion in the Catholic Church and how important it was that we had been baptized/christened in order to receive Communion.
Next, I remembered that because I was a Catholic, there was no need to convert, but was received into the Episcopal Church.
And it all suddenly made so much sense! Yeshua, our Messiah, came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He also came for us, his other flock because we are all his creation. He desires communion, fellowship, oneness with all of us. When we look at the church’s liturgy, we see the connection to our Jewish brethren.
The biggest connection of all is participation in The Passover Lamb. One brother circumcised in the flesh, the other in the heart. Both able to come to the table, Jew and Gentile worshiping together as one new man.