We need a Comforter because we need to be comforted

Sometimes our world can be rocked like wind blowing against a dandelion where it feels like nothing of our life is left except the stem.

Have you ever picked up the phone only to have someone on the other end give you some “rock your world” news?  Perhaps it was news of an accident… a medical report… a death… an arrest… a confession…

In that single instant your world was shattered like a gust of wind against a dandelion where it feels like there’s nothing left except the stem.  It happens to most of us, if not all of us, at one time or another.  And, what did you do?  Panic? Cry?  Punch your fist at God?  Did you ask, “I’m a Christian, for goodness sake… how did God let this happen to me?”

May I encourage you to remain calm in the crisis.  Maybe it is because you are a Christ-follower that this has happened to you.  I’m not saying that God causes bad things to happen, but this world is full of weeds and thorns… and you’re going to get stuck from time to time.  Yes, God’s Holy Spirit surrounds you and protects you. But the Word also says the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, is a comforter.  Now why would we need a comforter if we didn’t ever need comforting?  God knew we would all go through seasons of great crisis.  We all need to be comforted when we are in a crisis.

Is your world being turned upside down right now?  Finances in a mess?  A diagnosis in a medical report?  A spouse calling it quits?  May I encourage you to lean into the Comforter.  Wrap yourself in His arms.  Let Him hold you.  It’s going to be all right.

Continue reading “We need a Comforter because we need to be comforted”

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Passover Haggadah, featuring Jesus the Messiah

PASSOVER SEDER

Our Messianic Haggadah

This Haggadah (or “Story”) was originally written by Rich Ronald for his family in 2000 with input from various teachings by Ilene Zatal, Ray VanderLaan, Martha Zimmerman, Don Finto, Mark Cowley, Dwight Pryor and James Bankowski. Additionally, portions have been directly excerpted from the booklet “Passover Seder Ritual and Menu for an Observance by Christians” by Barbara Balzac Thompson, published by Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, © 1984.

Passover Celebration

SHE’MA

Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.  Ve’ahavta et Adonai eloheykha bekol-levavkha u’vekhol nafshekha u’vekhol me’odekha.

Hear o Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

WELCOME

Welcome in the name of Yeshua, Jesus our Messiah!  Tonight we will celebrate Pesach (pah-SACH)… Passover.  This is the celebration of the most incredible feast in the Jewish and Christian calendars.  It intricately weaves a story of God’s power, faithfulness and love for mankind in both the Old and New Testaments.  It was celebrated in the Ancient World, in Jesus’ time, and is still celebrated in traditional Jewish homes today.

The first Passover was not a celebration.  It was a night of apprehension, fear and expectation for the beginning of a new journey for the children of Israel.  The Word tells us that the Hebrews were to take the blood of a perfect lamb, and paint it on their doorposts.  By following this command, the Angel of Death which moved through Egypt that night would “pass over” their homes.  But since the Angel of Death did not pass over Pharaoh’s house, and his first born son was taken from him, his hardened heart was finally softened and the next morning Pharaoh let the Hebrew slaves go free.  This meal that we celebrate tonight, the Seder, is symbolic of the rush to leave Egypt and the bondage it represents.

We also celebrate the significance of Yeshua’s last meal, a traditional Passover meal, with His disciples in the Upper Room.  There is a lot of symbolism between the Old Covenant meal and the New Covenant meal.  We hope you’ll enjoy learning how Yeshua tied the two meals together… and how it is applicable for us all tonight.

Tonight, we tell a story, the Haggadah, of how the blood of a lamb saved the people of God in the Ancient times… and still saves today.

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Passover First, Then the Resurrection

The Christian faith heritage is Jewish because Jesus was Jewish and He is the Lamb of God.

Passover.  It’s a Jewish holiday right?  Yes… and no.  You see, it was a celebration of the Passover where Messiah Jesus met with His disciples for what has traditionally been called “The Last Supper.”

Yep, the great, intimate evening, where Jesus washed His disciples feet and shared what most Christians call “Communion” for the first time, was actually a traditional meal celebrated by the Hebrews for centuries prior to the final evening Jesus would spend with His followers before His crucifixion.

So, the “Holy Eucharist” is actually a Jewish sacrament?  Well, at its genesis, yes.  You may ask “How can that be?”

Continue reading “Passover First, Then the Resurrection”