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Autumn Moedim Issue 2009
Greetings to everyone!
Can it be possible? Summer has rapidly drawn to a close, and the months of Autumn are upon us! I greet you in the precious Name of our Messiah and Lord, Y’shua (Jesus) and I pray that you have had a full, restful and rewarding summer.
Joan and I have just returned from a few days of rest “up north”, where we visited with family and dear friends and got caught up on all the things that they have been involved in over the past few months. For us, it was a wonderful chance to relax in the presence of the Lord, and once again ‘absorb’ the wonder of His creation.
Fortunately, I was able to get a little reading done – not as much as I would have liked of course – but I got a little further into a book I have been trying to wade through. “Wade through” because I am finding it challenging, due to some of the thought-lines and claims of the author. Meanwhile, Joan was able to get some recreational reading finished and she was also able to forget about the store for a while.
We love to visit with our grand-children, (who are marvellous) and we were able to look after them on a couple of occasions. We don’t see them nearly enough and every opportunity we have with them is golden. It was great to visit with old friends as well and to hear their news. I never cease to be amazed at how Elohim is guiding and watching over his faithful people – in good times and in bad.
On August 30th, I completed the four month engagement at Emmanuel and I handed back the reins to Dr. Peter Robinson, the pastor and rector. He voiced his thanks to me as we met briefly in his office a few days later. I was pleased to be able to help out, and appreciated the opportunity to get to know the people of the congregation a little better. For me, the chance to bring the message on seven different occasions was great! It provided the opening to share a few glimpses into Messianic understandings of the Scriptures. At the very least, it gave me time to study further, and even more deeply engrain the Scriptural truths to which I have always held, and others which are now just coming clearer as I delve into the teaching of Y’shua day by day. The summer went quickly, and extra duties included the weekly Bible study, a wedding and a couple of funerals, one connected with the church as the deceased had been a member of Emmanuel a few years back.
Because of being involved at Emmanuel, I was not able to accept some other engagements which arose during the summer, but hopefully we might be able to make some special arrangements during the fall with those congregations. That, I have left in the Lord’s hands, but as always, your prayers for these and other opportunities to share the faith and grow the connections are appreciated.
THIS MONTH’S TEACHING: “THE AUTUMN MOEDIM”
With the coming of September, we enter very rapidly into the autumn “Moedim” or “Appointed Times”. These are known as the High Holy Days, during which there are three major festivals and a number of other traditional days which I thought might be worth explaining, at least briefly, in this teaching. As you read the following material, you are invited to check out our "Photo Gallery" for a few pix from our recent High Holy Days' activities.
I want to describe the events chronologically for you, so that you will be able to see how they proceed. One should not assume however, that they developed in this order – in fact the major Feasts were initiated first in one swoop by God, in a command given to Moshe (Moses) during the Exodus. The Lord, through Moshe’s hand, incorporated them into the second set of Commandments (Ex 34 and see also Lev 23:23ff) and then Moshe re-iterated them to the people just before they entered the promised land The other events of the autumn Festivals came along at later times, as history unrolled for the Jewish people. The Autumn Moedim are important to the Christian church as well, because we have our own rendition of them, and because they all pertain prophetically to the ‘future history’ of humankind.
Things begin to take shape in the month of Elul, the month which actually precedes the autumn Festivals. Over the centuries, this month has become a time of sombre prayer as one prepares for the challenges of the first two of the fall Festivals. There is an atmosphere of repentance in the autumn air. Of particular interest is the Sabbath immediately before the actual Holy Days begin. It is known as “Shabbat Selichot”. Traditionally, during services in synagogues around the world, special prayers for forgiveness are offered in the hope that the Lord God will assist the people to look earnestly into their lives over the last year. The prayerful person asks Elohim to reveal any hidden sins they may have committed so that they can be confessed and dealt with in preparation for what is to come.
Then comes the first of the three Moedim: Yom T’ruah. This is the Biblical name which means “the Day of Trumpets”. Leviticus 23:23 says: “The Lord said to Moshe, ‘Say to the Israelites: On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly, commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the Lord by fire.’”(NIV) Literally T’ruah means “shouting” or “raising noise”. (I am reminded of my sister-in-law who introduced into our family a tradition of going outside on New Year’s Eve, and banging pots with metal spoons and shouting – You will see this connection below). Of course the trumpets of which the Bible speaks are the shofarim (Ram’s Horns), ancient instruments used for a variety of purposes, which produce a very loud sound. While silver trumpets were sometimes used in the temple services, the ram’s horn is certainly used on this occasion. There is a connection with both the birth of Yitzchak (Isaac) and his binding (and release) on Mount Moriah and these readings are always included during the Yom T’ruah services.
The first of the fall festivals is a unique event in at least two ways: first, it is the only Festival called on the beginning day of a month (“On the 1st day of the 7th month…”); and secondly, it is the only Festival established without a specific reason for it; (go ahead, look. It is also mentioned in Numbers 29:1-6 – but still no reason is given). These two facts would create a vacuum which rabbinic sages would later attempt to fill with new information. Perhaps Elohim knew this and allowed for it, so that the festival would be perpetuated as per the instructions for all the moedim: “this is for all time, throughout the generations”.
Following the return of the exiles from Babylon, as the rabbinic leadership increased in prominence and power within the Temple and subsequent synagogues, and particularly following the destruction of the Temple in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) in 70 CE, the sages were forced to re-think how to worship obediently without the possibility of sacrifices. This is where the ‘vacuum’ of Yom T’ruah’s purpose comes into play. The name of the Festival was changed to Rosh Hashanah (literally meaning “head of the year”) and it was thought of as the Festival to mark the “New Year”. The concept of such a celebration is actually ‘borrowed’ from the pagan practices encountered in Babylon. There was no attempt at changing the Biblical calendar however, and Tishrei remained the 7th month of the Biblical year – however the number of the year changes on this date and the modern civil year is so affected. A typical Jewish calendar of today begins with our month of September. As of September 19, 2009 for instance, we entered into the year 5770 in the Jewish civil year. The easiest way to get this straight is to imagine what might happen if the school year, which starts (interestingly enough) in September, were to take precedence over our common calendar. Just think about how we come back from the summer holidays ready to “start fresh”, and buckle down to another 10 month’s of school, or work. [Recently our bishop sent out a letter to the clergy, welcoming us all back to a ‘new year’. It too, might help us grasp the situation. His letter begins:
“Dear Colleagues in Ministry,
While the liturgical new year begins on the 1st Sunday of Advent, the civil new year is January 1st, and the start of Fall is mid-September, everybody knows that the real end of summer and beginning of the year is the day after Labour Day. Years of schooling have engrained that more deeply in our subconscious than any logical or liturgical decrees could.” (emphasis mine)]
Rosh Hashanah is declared by the sages of the Mishnah period as recalling the beginning of human history. According to Sanhedrin 38b, Adam and Chavah (Eve) were created on what is now the 1st of Tishrei. This was arrived at by comparing and scrambling the Hebrew letters for “on the first of Tishrei” (yrvtb a) or “Aleph Tishrei”, and discovering that they will spell out “In the beginning” or “Breisheet” (tyvarb) – the first words of Genesis and the original Hebrew name for the first book of the Torah.
Liturgically, the Festival of Yom T’ruah accentuates the Kingship of God and His Messiah. This is because traditionally, the first words spoken by Adam were: “The Lord is King for ever and ever.” To which the Lord responded: “Now the whole world will know that I am King.” Psalm 47 speaks of Elohim as “Melech Gadol al kol H’Aretz” meaning God is “A great King over all the earth.” The psalm also connects this with Yom T’ruah when it continues in verse 5: “God has gone up with a shout (T’ruah); the Lord with the sound of the shofar.”
The timing of Yom T’ruah, the trumpet blasts and the call to assemble are important. When the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they were a basically agricultural people. The annual ‘schedule’ soon dictated that from the time of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) until Yom T’ruah the people were working the fields, tending their crops. [see last month’s newsletter]. The blast of the Ram’s Horn alerted the people, and called them out of the fields, out of their daily routine, in order to prepare for what was to come – the assemblies, the sacrifices, and the remaining Festivals. The call of the horn was akin to the clanging of the triangle on the rancher’s porch (Remember “Bonanza”?) which called the working-hands in to supper – or better… it is like the bell in the contemporary church tower rung to call the community of faith to worship. This is where the Prophetic aspect of Yom T’ruah is discovered.
We have seen in previous issues of this newsletter that the Moedim of spring (Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits) have all been fulfilled perfectly in Messiah Y’shua. We also have shown that the prophetic aspects of Shavuot (Pentecost) first established at the receiving of the Torah/Law have now been completed with the coming of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) – the Law which is written on our hearts. The Prophetic aspects of the Autumn Moedim however remain to be fulfilled in “the last days”.
John Parsons has succinctly captured the essence of this when he writes:
“After the summer of the harvest, the very first Fall Festival on the Jewish calendar is Yom T’ruah, which is the picture of the “catching away”, [otherwise understood as the rapture] of Kallat Mashiach (the Bride of Messiah) for the time of “Sheva Berachot” (seven days of blessing… that follows the marriage ceremony).”
Is it possible that these seven days would be a prophetic stand-in for the seven years of Tribulation ? More research might be possible here to determine it this is the case.
In 1 Thessalonians we read: “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry (T’ruah), with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise; then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; …” (4:16 cjb) Thus we see Rosh Hashanah (or more accurately: Yom T’ruah) is a sacred time which looks back to the creation of the universe, encapsulates the time of the Hebrew people in the promised land, and anticipates the salvation of humanity in the end times.
Yom T’ruah also serves to initiate the Ten Days of Awe or “Yamim Nora’im”, which is the ‘season’ in which I find myself as I write this newsletter. This period is also called “Aseret Yemei Teshuvah”, meaning ten days of repentance. After a year of business dealings, temptations, and human tendencies, these few days provide the time for the faithful to look back and call to mind the times when they were perhaps not as close to God as they should have been – times of weakness and sin. The Yamim Nora’im calls the community of faith to Teshuvah, Tehillah and Tzedakah (repentance, prayer and acts of righteousness). These are the qualities of the autumn Moedim. It is a last chance to “make things right” with Elohim before they face the next major Festival which comes at the end of the ten days.
Tashlikh is a practice of some Jewish and Messianic people performed during the Ten Days of Awe. I have seen similar rituals done in various settings, all of which can be quite moving. Although it can be done on any day during the Yamim Nora’im, it is most often completed on the afternoon of Yom T’ruah as the Days of Awe are commencing. Various groups may have their own way of ‘doing’ Tashlikh, but the bare essentials remain the same. Generally, the practice of Tashlikh is to gather at the banks of a flowing river or creek and to join in various prayers, perhaps with a song or two, and a reading from Scripture which is often included. Then one joins in a litany of repenting for specific sins he or she may have been guilty of over the preceding year. At the mention of each of these transgressions, the people cast a piece of bread, or a stone, into the water. This symbolizes their “casting off” their sins before Elohim. In Micah, we read: “He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast (tashlikh) all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (see 7:18-20)
One is not called to fast either on Yom T’ruah or during the Ten Days, except for one day – the third of Tishrei. This is a day of remembrance instigated by the rabbinic sages, sometime after the exile. It is called “Tzom Gedaliah” (the fast of Gedaliah). Gedalyahu (the Hebrew form of his name) was the governor appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar to rule over the remnant left in Judah after the invading armies took the hostages to Babylon. He was a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah. (See Jeremiah 39:14 and other references.) Because Gedalyahu [like Jeremiah] told his people to “go along” with the demands of their captors, he was assassinated by a group of zealots who later sought to flee to Egypt for their safety. In spite of Jeremiah’s warning that “they would die by the sword if they left Judah”, they fled, taking Jeremiah with them. A short while later, Babylon invaded Egypt and over ten thousand Jewish refugees were slain. The Fast of Gedaliah is a day of mourning for the loss of these souls, [and all those generations who would have followed them].
At the end of the ten days of repentance, we come to Yom Kippur. For several reasons, this may be the best known holy day of Jewish culture – yet little is understood about it by those outside the faith. To try to summarize its many activities and practices in this short approach is next to impossible. But the bottom line is this: Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day of the Jewish year. It is the one service that Jewish people dare not miss. Today streets in the vicinity of synagogues are crowded with the penitent faithful returning to their assembly. There are also many connections between Yom Kippur and the Messiah, as we shall see.
Yom Kippur is translated as “The Day of Atonement”– or more literally: “The Day of Covering”. Understanding that the root of Kippur is kafar or kofer can help us grasp that this day involves cancelling, pardoning and reconciling of the penitent faithful. These concepts are akin to “covering”, as in when someone pays a debt on your behalf, they are said to be “covering your indebtedness”. While the Days of Awe have been spent in prayer, repentance, and acts of kindness, Yom Kippur is a day of concentrated prayers of repentance accompanied by fasting and additional synagogue services – 5 in all, beginning with “Kol Nidre” on “Erev Yom Kippur” (the eve of the Day of Atonement).
Yom Kippur is all about mediation on behalf of those seeking God’s pleasure. We can see one of the earliest examples in the ram which was substituted for Yitz’chak (Isaac) on Mount Moriah. Later, we encounter Moshe speaking to Elohim on behalf of the people he was leading from Egypt. He says to the Lord that he would prefer to be stricken from “The Book”, but the Lord declines the offer, saying that “Those who have sinned against me are the ones I will blot out of my book.” (Exodus 33:33-34 cjb) This is also the first mention of the Book of Life which holds the names of the righteous (tzaddikim). [There is also a book of death in which the names of the wicked (resha’im) are inscribed.] The history of the Jewish people found in the Tenakh is rife with examples of animal sacrifices made in the Temple in Yerushalayim. But animal sacrifices did not begin in the Temple. Think back to the evening of the Passover, when the Pesach Lamb is killed, and eaten, its blood having been placed on the lintel and door posts so as to show the “angel of death” that a person “covered by the blood of the lamb” resides here, and saving them. The Temple sacrifices continued this ‘coverage’, with animals dying to protect the people of God from their own death due to sin. Finally, we have in Messiah, the most profound of all substitutions when Elohim Himself died on the tree (cross) for all humanity.
One act of Yom Kippur which has a long history, and which is a little better known generally, involves the use of two goats. After being selected for their quality, lots are drawn to see which one will die as a sacrifice, and which one will live as the azazel or “scapegoat”. The first is killed and offered as burnt offering for the sins of the people. The second is taken before the great high priest (Cohen Gadol) who places his hands on the goat’s head and proclaims all the sins of the people ‘onto’ the goat. Traditionally, a red cord was placed around the neck of the goat and it was led out into the dessert and released. If he returned, and the cord was white, it was a sign that the people’s sins had been atoned for, or forgiven. (see Leviticus 16:5-22) It is of interest to note that during the last 40 years of the Temple’s existence, the cord did not change colour. Could this have been a sign that Elohim had put such sacrifice aside, having offered once for all the pure sacrifice of Himself on their behalf?
But Yom Kippur, like the other autumn Moedim, is not yet completely fulfilled. While the original Festival provided a means for the people to experience God’s forgiveness – it did, as Sha’ul says, have to be done year after year. The Festival was itself a ‘shadow’ of what was to come. First, it pointed one’s attention to the once-for-all sacrifice of Elohim in the person of the Messiah who died upon that horrific ‘tree’. Here we witness the act of God supplanting both the sacrificial goat and the scapegoat, taking our sins on Himself and offering Himself as the pure and spotless sacrifice in our place. In doing this, He opened the door for all who would believe and accept the gift of life, from that time on having their names inscribed [indelibly] in the “Sefer Hachayim” (Book of Life).
Second, [and yet to come], it points our eyes today to the time of final decision, when the righteous, including Israel, will stand before the throne of divine judgement on the Great Day of the Lord, to see the effects of that ultimate sacrifice and hear the words – “Well done, good and faithful servant, Your sins are ‘covered’ [redeemed]. Come into the Kingdom prepared for you.” Of course, the wicked will stand before the same throne and judge, but they will hear words not so comforting.
Following Yom Kippur, there is a five day span from the 10th of Tishrei to the 15th. During this time, the faithful begin construction of their sukkah (small dwelling or ‘tabernacle’). It is decorated with fresh fruit and various other autumnal harvest items. Then on the 15th, [actually the evening of the 14th) the last of the Festivals (Moedim or ‘appointed times’) begins. This is Sukkot or Succoth, (The Festival of Booths).
We now move away from the sombre nature of Yom T’ruah and Yom Kippur, to the elated joy of Sukkot. This Festival is divinely directed to be seven days in length. In actual fact there is an eighth day, but it has a special purpose: (see below). Sukkot is the third of the obligatory Festivals (along with Pesach and Shavuot), times which called observers to travel to the Temple in Yerushalayim to worship and offer sacrifices. “Adonai said to Moshe: ‘Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to Adonai. On the first day there is to be a holy convocation…You are to live in sukkot for seven days. Every citizen of Isra’el is to live in a sukkah.” (Leviticus 23:33ff cjb)
The seven days of Sukkot involve living in the little booth one makes in the back yard, certainly eating there and perhaps even sleeping there. The booth or tabernacle is to remind the faithful observer that during the years in the wilderness, they lived in simple hovels, but the Lord dwelt with them. The booth recalls both the tents in which the people dwelt, and the mishkan or tabernacle in which the Presence of the Lord was quite evident. It is a time of renewing one’s fellowship with God and recalling how Elohim provided shelter for the pilgrims in the wilderness.
Sukkot was, and is, primarily an agricultural Festival, marking the end of the fruit harvest, hence the fruit decorations. Each day of Sukkot, we gather in the sukkah, read from Scriptures, sing songs, and rejoice in fellowship. One of the practices of the liturgy each day is the waving of the lulav and Etrog. The lulav is a sort of sceptre comprised of a palm branch, a willow branch and a myrtle branch. The Etrog is a small lemon-like fruit. All these items are imported directly from Israel and are very expensive. The Etrog alone runs about 35 to 40 dollars. Together, the lulav and etrog comprise the four species mentioned in Scripture. (Lev. 23:40) These are “waved” before the Lord within the sukkah in the four major compass points, while special prayers and thanksgivings are made. Traditionally the four species indicate the four types of humanity – those who have no prayer life and no acts of righteousness, those who pray but fail to back it up with actions, those who do not pray, but who perform empty acts of good will, and those whose lives are examples of faithful prayer and action.
During the Festival we look forward to welcoming “imaginary” guests or “Ushpizin”. These include: Avraham; Yitz’chak; Ya’acov; Yosef; Moshe; Aharon and David, one for each day in the sukkah. To lend ‘flesh’ to the ushpizin, we also invite neighbours and friends to join us in worship, study and fellowship each day.
The last full day of Sukkot is called Hoshana Rabbah – the Day of Great Salvation. On this day, extra prayers and practices are completed as the Festival draws to a close. This is the climax of the season, and it is a day of wonderful celebration and great joy. Then at the close of the day, the sukkah is formally closed down and the pilgrims who have gathered, like those visiting in Yerushalayim, return to their homes.
One thing not commonly known is that originally, Sukkot was a Festival which was inclusive of the Gentile people, that is, it was a form of “outreach” at God’s request, on behalf of the 70 peoples (Goyim or nations) surrounding the fledgling nation of Israel. This can be seen in the special burnt offerings raised up before God during the Festival. The Lord instructed that special offerings of bulls, along with their accompanying sacrifices, were to be made each day: on the first day 13; on the second day 12; on the third day 11 and so on until on the seventh day 7 bulls were lifted up in smoke and fire. The total number of bulls comes to 70; one bull for each of the nations for which Israel stood before the Lord in intercession. This is an amazing testimony which shows that it was (and is) God’s intent to bring the Jewish people and the Gentile nations together in the end times (see below).
There are other Biblical events occurring in Sukkot, which I am leaving out, which Y’shua referred to during His earthly career and which indicate Messianic connections with the Festival, but I will leave those to be dealt with in future issues of this newsletter.
Like all the Moedim, Sukkot is both reflective (or commemorative) and prophetic. First, it looks back, as we have seen, at the original lifestyle of the ancestors, in this case remembering the provision of God in the wilderness and His presence with them in the original Mishkan or Tabernacle. Then, Sukkot is also prophetic in that it anticipates something yet to come. At its inception, Sukkot foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah. It has been known for decades that December 25th is not the actual date of the Messiah’s birth – it was a pagan mid-winter feast-day chosen and ‘sanctified’ by the early church to provide a time for the celebration of “Christ’s Mass” or birth. It can be successfully shown, and has been, that what the Christian observes as Christmas – namely the arrival of Y’shua amongst the shepherds and (later) the visiting magi – would have (indeed could only have) happened in the autumn of the year. The climate is right, the routine of the shepherds matches, and most importantly, the accomplishing of God’s foreshadowing is perfect for the Messiah to come during Sukkot. The one word associated with the modern Festival which demonstrates this is “Emmanuel”, traditionally sung by the angelic choir over the hills of Beit-Lechem (Bethlehem), and sung for centuries as we celebrate the Divine birth. “Emmanuel” literally means “God with us”!
As with the previous two autumn Moedim, there is still an aspect of Sukkot which remains to be fulfilled, and which will be initiated upon the return of Y’shua in triumph. We are told in Scripture that the Messiah, the awaited and anointed One, will come and will establish His Kingdom upon the earth. This is commonly recognized as the Millennial Kingdom – a period of future history for the faithful community of worshippers which will mark a freedom from Satanic activity and temptations. It will last one thousand years and then following this period, [which marks the initiation of the ‘seventh period’ of human creation history – a matter for future consideration and teaching] the Devil will be dealt with succinctly by being cast into the sea of fire along with Death and Hades, and the establishing of the eternal Divine Kingdom will be brought about. This is truly Sukkot in its fullest terms. It will set in motion a time when the “New Yerushalayim” will come down from heaven and… “He will live with them. They will be His people, and He Himself, God-with-them, will be their God.” (Revelation 21:3 cjb). Until such time, however, we continue life as we know it, and the Festival of Sukkot continues for us.
Shimini Atzeret is like the eighth day of a seven day Festival. It follows the Festival of Sukkot so closely that it is considered a part of it. Yet it is separate. It is a day meant specifically for the beloved. Leviticus 23:36 continues: “…on the eighth day, you are to have a holy convocation and bring an offering made by fire to Adonai; it is a day of public assembly; do not do any kind of ordinary work.” Numbers 29:35 adds: “You are have a festive assembly…” (both cjb) Shimini Atzeret reminds me of the efforts of Y’shua to withdraw privately with his beloved Talmudim. We often read about how the crowds would gather around Y’shua and He would teach them. Eventually He would send them home and have a quiet time with the “twelve”. Check out Matthew 13:1-11 as an example. Y’shua gathers the crowd, they have a time together in His presence, the crowd then departs and He provides a special time for those closest to Him for, questioning, teaching [and learning] further insights, celebrating and resting - all would be the order of the day. This is how we might best understand Shimini Atzeret.
While groups within Israel consider Shimini Atzeret to coincide with the next big event: Simchat Torah, those outside Israel consider the two events to happen on subsequent days. Whichever you may encounter, Shimini Atzeret assures the complete reading of the last passages of Deuteronomy, ending the reading of the Pentateuch. Then on Simchat Torah, the Ark is opened, the Torah scroll taken out and ceremoniously paraded before the congregation, and finally it is devoutly re-rolled to its beginning – for the next Shabbat we will begin reading from Breisheet 1:1.
From this, we see that Sukkot begins and ends with joyous celebrations and assemblies for worship. At the same time, we see the unity of God’s plan in that the seven Appointed Times (Moedim) begin and end with Festivals which are seven days in length. I have said it before, and here I say it again. There is nothing that is simple coincidence in God’s plan for creation and for us. The Moedim have been given to us to reveal His purposes to us. If we don’t begin to look into them and grasp their meaning, we will be missing some of the richest blessings Elohim has in store for us.
Today, as the autumn Moedim continue, may I, in the words of a dear friend, wish you:
“harbe simcha (much joy), harbe bree-oot (much health), kol toov (all pleasantness / goodness), Chag Sameach v'Shanah Tovah, (happy Festival and a good year), v'od, v'od (and more, and more)!
CHAVARAH NEWS & BIBLE STUDY NOTES
Our Chavarah Bible study continues to thrive and grow. Our latest new attender continues to be a part of the group and has voiced an interest in joining us for the odd Sabbath celebration. Her insights into Scripture have already added new dimensions of what we are learning week by week. I received word recently that a sixth person might be joining us for the study as well, and my heart is over-flowing with gratitude to God for His immeasurable goodness and blessing.
The Chavarah itself is celebrating all the Autumn Moedim. We gathered for Yom T’ruah last Sabbath, and blew the shofarim so loudly that the neighbours came over to investigate and we shared some apples and honey and a little teaching with them. We are looking forward to Yom Kippur and of course the week in the Sukkah for readings etc. If you would like to join us for any of these events please call me for further information.
Our prayer needs continue. As I stated above, please continue to pray for outside engagements and teaching opportunities. I welcome the chance to share a little of the experience and understandings which God is revealing and which I feel driven to communicate with the wider Body of Messiah.
On October 4th, I will be speaking at Grace Bible Fellowship congregation in Wasaga Beach. It is a special fund raiser for a friend. The members of the Chavarah will be going up to lead an entire service with messianic prayer and dance. I will be speaking about the autumn Moedim, and there is a lunch to follow. By the time you get this note, the event will be over, but you might give thanks to God for His goodness in providing this opportunity for us.
I have been making arrangements to complete the remaining five study “papers” to obtain my “Doctorate in Messianic Ministry”. Please pray that – if it is right to do so – Elohim will open the doors and provide whatever is needed for this to be accomplished. I really dislike having ‘unfinished business’ in my life. This would bring so much joy to me if were to be possible.
The tour we were planning for November, has officially been cancelled. We were unable to get enough people interested. Please pray that all Abby’s efforts, and Arie’s also, will not be in vain. Perhaps the Lord will see fit to open a door for this to happen in the future.
Last month, I mentioned a few friends in need of prayer – Sean, Dawn, Peter, and Reuben are still in need of God’s healing. Progress has been amazing but they are not yet “out of the woods” and your prayers are much appreciated.
I greet all those who over the summer months ‘came on board’ as new “sojourners” with us in this ministry. You are welcome as friends and fellow travellers with Beth Roay Tov Ministries. Contact information can be found below, and information for making any financial donations to our work is also included.
Now, until we meet again…
"Y'varehch'cha Adonai v'yeesh m'recha –
May the Lord Bless you and Keep you."