Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another Passover message

Today, a friend asked: 'Can u tell me what is the significance of Passover?'

Coincidentally I was reflecting on and writing up what I had learned the even before, when I got this question from my friend. So I shared with him the message I just shared with you. 

My friend also asked: ' What can i do today to celebrate this event?'
And what does it really mean?

I answered stating that I thought he asked very good questions. His questions are what I myself need to ponder. I know what I am going to do personally, but is what I am doing really what G-d would want of me?

This evening I am going to celebrate a home passover with my little girls and wife. Most Jews in the diaspora will do that.

My friend asked:  What do u plan to do with ur family thats different?

So I state my agenda:
The recounting of the story of the Exodus, beginning from bondage in Egypt. Drinking (nonalcoholic) wine, eating Matzah (unleavened bread) and bitter herbs, lighting candles and explainig to my 3 year old what it must have been like to come out of Egypt. Then move on to the story of Jesus and his disciples at the night of his supper, recounting his last supper with the disciples and what he did for humanity and what was the significance of his death and why he had to die.

My friend replied stating that he found my plans interesting, but asked another question:

'Isn't that a message which we should share all year around?'

I replied, that G-d has a different focus for each season. For the Passover season, he wants us to reflect on Christ's death and resurrection. For the season of Pentecost, we focus on the Holy spirit and the birthday of the church, while during the fall festivals, he wants us to focus on the return of Christ and the second advent

Specifically, the Passover season is the spiritual beginning and renewal of the year. We are renewed spiritually for the rest of the year and in preparation for the outpouring of the spirit for the harvest, that prepare us for our work and contribution to the harvest and eventually the harvest itself.

I thank G-d for friends who like me are seeking the spiritual food in the season that G-d has made it available.

My friend, you have already started to celebrate Passover, at least spiritually. Seeking G-d and his meaning in this season is how G-d intends for us celebrate his feasts, his spiritual feasts. By seeking the spiritual food that he has for us in the season that he has prepared it. Just like how you look for mangoes in their season and other fruits in their season; so with the natural, so with the spiritual

It is G-d that created the lights of the sky to mark seasons and times (http://bible.cc/genesis/1-14.htm)

G-d binds his feasts to the seasons, communicating to us that his feasts will never be done away with. Even after the second advent, we will be invited to his commemorative feasts and celebrations (http://niv.scripturetext.com/isaiah/66-22.htmhttp://bible.cc/zechariah/14-16.htm).

In the Bible, G-d says that his seasons will never end  (http://bible.cc/genesis/8-22.htm). 

G-d in the Bible also declares that there is nothing done under heaven that is not done within a season or within time (http://bible.cc/ecclesiastes/3-1.htm)

The meaning of Passover

United Congregation of Israelites
5:30 PM Pesach Services
April 18, 2011

I attended, and caught the last part of the services, where I heard the message on the meaning of Pesach/Passover. What I am doing here is a basic summary, as I arrived at the synagogue drained of all intellectual alertness, and was afraid to take out a pen and write down the ideas said. Instead, I sought to follow the intellectual message with my mind and record new ideas that resonated with me. 

The meaning reflected on in this particular service was on the significance of freedom, and the contribution of Jewry towards human liberation. Freedom, the rabbi said, is not just physical, but also spiritual. Persons do not know they are enslaved spiritually, until they are set free. The Jews experience of bondage in Egypt represents spiritual bondage from which we must become free, in order to make our contribution to the world and to usher in a "new world order" (the rabbi's words, not mine).

Jewish freedom led to the world's monotheism, as prior to Jewish freedom, the world did not know G-d. Jewish liberation from bondage in Egypt therefore lead to the world's awakening to who G-d was and established (or I would say re-established) monotheism as the standard of world religions. 

Jewish freedom will eventually lead the reign of peace throughout the earth. When the Mashiach/Messiah returns, he will lead the Jews again to freedom and establish a 'New World Order' based on the reign of peace.

As I reflect on the rabbi's message, I could summarise this thought through these words: 
Jews were set free from a world superpower in order to get the world to recognise the one who holds supreme power. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

He answers me before I call

"And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." (Isaiah 65:24 KJV)

I am so loving G-d now. He answers my prayers right on time. Sometimes, I just identify the unmet need and have not yet translated it into a petition, and that unmet need is satisfied. 

Today is such a case in point. When I considered the cost of the Canadian study permit processing fee and the state of my finances for the month, I was beginning to really wonder about the situation. Since the end of March, I was concerned about the family's expenditure knowing fully well that as of this year, we have never finished the month without spending more than our income. Money during this year has always been finished before pay-day, to the point where I have to be using credit card to fill the gap and purchase the necessities. 

Well, today, as I saw that I had remaining in the bank versus what I needed for the Canadian visa processing fee, I really began to contemplate that I could not pay for the visa processing fee until pay-day. I even posted a comment on this regard on Facebook.

Then, later that day, got an email to sign for some money owed to me. Money  owed would certainly be enough to cover the visa amount. Though I have not yet received the cheque, my faith, confidence and hope is now strengthened. I know G-d is watching over me and working things out in my favour, especially as it relates to meeting those unmet needs that I verbally (or in writing) express.

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31 
King James Bible).