There’s been an ongoing conversation on my friend James Pyles’ blog post “What Am I, Chopped Liver?” I attempted to jump back into the conversation several times, but with over 184 comments (as of Sunday night); I realized it wasn’t going to happen.
But it’s been on my heart, and prattling around in my mind since it started. To briefly recap, some say Gentile believers in Messiah should follow Torah, others say no.
This weekend, everything I experienced seemed to point back to the need to follow Torah.
For instance, the singles group I oversee met and discussed “What is spiritual unity in Messiah?” We came to the conclusion that we need to spend more time in prayer, bringing us into unity with the Spirit, which will play out in unity with each other, because our focus with be other centered. (I covered this more in my newsletter.)
Now I’ve got to admit, when I go through trying times, my lifeline to survival is spending a whole lot of time in prayer with my Father. But when things are moseying along with nary a hiccup? Not so much.
For a couple of months now, I’ve wanted to buy a siddur and start dedicating my time to structured prayer – not because I am desperate for God’s rescuing help, but because I want to spend time with my Father.
I am a list person. If I don’t make a list, nothing gets done. (And just so you know, I tend to make a much longer list than is humanly possible to accomplish in one day. But hey, I look at it this way: If I make a long list striving to get it all done, at the end of the day I accomplish more than if I made a short list and got it all done.) So when it comes to prayer and worship, I like liturgy. For me, it is a great way to get focused.
So this morning I started researching the daily prayers in Judaism. While there is a lot to learn, I am excited to have a starting place.
(As a side note, if we Gentiles would take the time to look at the prayers offered up every day – three times a day -we would see the heart of a people trusting in the love, mercy, and grace of their Creator. We would see a heart not unlike our own.)
In among the research I did this morning, I came across one of my own blogs and re-read “Torah Keeps Our Love Alive”. I realized the instructions in God’s Torah rescued me from sliding down a path I tumbled down before. I remembered the joy my granddaughter and I experience when we say the Grace after the Meal. Then I thought again about the conversation on James’ blog and just wish those that think we gentiles should not follow Torah would realize we need it. We need the instructions God sent to keep our focus on Him and His character. And we need the teachings of the rabbis and the traditions they set up to help us in that focus.
Why? Because we love God, want to show him that love by obedience, and knowing ourselves, don’t want that love to grow cold.