Ye-WHO-a?

In college, I began a journey. I don’t remember exactly how it started, but sometime at Rice I began to hunger to know Jesus as he truly was. I wanted to understand how the culture in which he lived dictated the parables he taught, the examples he mentioned and the words he used. In 2004, I went to Israel and what I loved more than anything else was beginning to see the context in which Jesus lived and spoke.

Since then, I have pursued understanding. I want to know Jesus as he was and is, not as I want or expect him to be. I want to know why modern Christianity bears very little resemblance to the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or Paul, Peter and James.

Part of this journey has included discovering the feasts of Leviticus and their place in the lives of believers in YHWH. They are “the feasts of the Lord”, not of a certain people group. I have been awestruck by the meaning and the depth of truth that is proclaimed by these “appointed times” and the richness they add to a believer’s life. My love for and worship of YHWH are intensified by understanding the celebrations he instituted.

For me, these revelations are not without complications. For example, in my personal worship I almost always refer to Jesus by his Hebrew name, Yeshua, but I struggle with how to do this publicly. I am concerned people will either think I’m a freak or a bit snobbish. Also, I desire to keep the feasts but am encumbered by both my own ignorance and the pervasive schedule of every one around me.

The point is: I think these issues are worth wrestling with. As I looked into it, I became appalled by the reasons that we as modern believers have little in common with the faith of the patriarchs. Centuries ago, Christians divorced themselves from these practices because of anti-semitism and (in my opinion) the whims of arrogant men. Amazingly, though, this trend seems to be reversing. There is now an increased desire among many Christians to rediscover and reclaim what has been lost for over 1500 years. Hallelu-YAH!

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