It’s Friday night, Jews around the world are resting in the peace and stillness of the Sabbath and I’m sitting in a recliner, writing this post after several days of reflecting on my first Chanukah (or Hanukkah) and my journey of discovering the Jewish roots of Christianity in general.
My celebration was minimal this year; lighting a Hanukiah (the nine branch menorah used for Chanukah), reading the history and listening to lectures and teachings to help deepen my understanding. This journey began four years ago, although the seeds were planted much earlier. I believe I was twelve when I first heard Pastor Larry Huch talk about the Feasts, Mezuzah, Tallit and the Jewishness of Jesus. I would say, being a child in a Christian home prevented me from understanding the truth at that point but seeds were definitely planted. Years later a friend invited me to a spiritual warfare conference at the Global Spheres Center, home of Glory of Zion. Three weeks later was Passover and they had another conference. I didn’t understand why I was going to a Passover conference but I went. Long story short; I was awakened to something that week when I saw a menorah, I got two books, The Messianic Church Arising by Robert Heidler and A Time to Advance by Chuck Pierce and Robert Heidler. That was the start of my journey to connect to the roots of my faith. I started Listening to Pastor’s Larry and Tiz Huch again and found Rabbi Greg Hershburg.
Four years into this incredible journey I still have barely scratched the surface. I’ve gone from Christian books on Jewish roots to reading books written by Jews and Rabbis. Some are automatically thinking that I am becoming legalistic so let me clear up something, the Jewish roots bring joy to my life. The feasts are just that, feasts, happy and joyus times. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.
I know many look at Jesus’ interaction with religious leaders and say He was against them. He was against the legalism. Jesus Himself said, do what they teach and that no part of the law would be done away with till all is fulfilled. the new testament says sin is lawlessness.
In writing tonight, I want to share how much deeper and more fulfilling my Christian life has become since I have begun reading the Bible with a Hebrew mindset and celebrating the feasts.
During the eight nights of Chanukah I lit the candles each night. I paused and thought about the Jews who gave their lives for G-d and His Word. Can you imagine the love for G-d, to give up your life because you refuse to give up the Bible, the feasts and you refuse to eat unclean animals? I was so inspired each night. I am so thankful that men and women of G-d stood for His Word. Without them we wouldn’t have a Bible. Without their stand, there would have been no Jesus. Basically, no Chanukah, no Christmas.
Like I said in the beginning, I have barely scratched the surface of the Jewish roots, the original meaning in so much of the new testament. I mean we read it with American eyes, not thinking about the eastern culture and the fact that Jesus, all His disciples and all followers and leaders in the Church were Jews up until Acts ten.
There is so much on my heart and in my mind it is hard to put into a post that is all put together. All I know is that, for me, the very thing that was missing in my life were my Jewish roots. Take some time and read Romans nine through eleven. Do a study on how the Church cut itself off from its roots. Messianic Church Arising and Our Hands Are Stained With Blood are great books to start with.
Am I saying you have to celebrate the feasts? No, I’m not. you are free to not celebrate. Jesus did though. Paul even wrote to Gentile believers at Corinth, because Christ our Passover Lamb is sacrificed, we celebrate the feast.
If you’ve ever felt like something is missing from your Christian life. if you’ve wondered why we’re not seeing miracles, signs and wonders, all I’m saying is maybe we lost something we were never supposed to get rid of.
*In respect to Jewish people and their high honor of the name of G-d, I have followed their example in this post by not including the vowel in His name.