Sunday, December 22, 2013
Nothing Like a Room Full of One-Law Messianics
Went to a One-Law Messianic fellowship this past Shabbat.
We arrived at the fellowship around 2PM (and didn't leave until I'm guessing 7PM). The meeting place was out in the country in a modern-styled library. The building was compartmentalized so that people could reserve the meeting room and have access to restrooms even after the library was closed.
The meeting room looked a bit like a university classroom with rows of tables, people seated with their laptops like students taking lecture notes, and a big projection screen at the front of the room. But along the back wall there was a row of tables loaded with simmering crock-pots. Along another wall was a kitchenette separated from the main room by a counter. In another section of the room was an activity space for children.
To my surprise, I later learned that they were able to use this facility completely free!
The chronology of the service looked like this (approximately):
2PM to 4PM: Group Torah-Study
4PM to 4:15PM: Snack Break
4:15PM to 5:00PM: Praise and Worship
5:15PM to 6:15PM: Sermon
They identify variously as Messianics or followers of the Way or One-Law, etc. The men (mostly non-Jews) tend to wear tzitzit. The entire group shared a passion for Biblical languages and engaging with the various source texts (LXX, MT, etc).
As I met people, one question I asked was "How did you come to get involved in Messianic Judaism?". Here's the story I got from one lady named "Kate" (the names/details have been changed):
Kate was concerned for her best friend Lucy who lived back in Spain and was into all sorts of bad things. But Kate prayed for her and shared the gospel and eventually the L-rd worked in Lucy's heart.
In a short span of time, Lucy was transformed into a new person. She was "on fire" for the L-rd. So she did what any new Christian would do, she started going to church.
But church was a disappointment. She quickly realized she wasn't being fed at church. So she kept searching and eventually came across Messianic literature. She suddenly felt a strong desire to keep the Torah (Shabbat, kashrut, etc). She learned the truth about Christmas and Easter and immediately stopped celebrating them.
When Kate first heard that Lucy was celebrating Jewish observances, she was appalled. Over time, however, curiosity got the better of Kate. And she thought to herself, "Lucy's faith is real...is it possible that there might be something to the Torah after all?"
So she visited a Messianic synagogue and immediately her world changed. There were signs from G-d, there was a palpable feeling of having come home. There was also one small problem...
The rabbi taught that non-Jews didn't need to follow the Torah.
Despite this, she still loyally attends the Messianic synagogue though she harbors a secret hope that the rabbi will one day have a change of heart. And, in the meantime, she has the One-Law fellowship so that she can be around like-minded Messianics.
We were very blessed to meet some wonderful people at that fellowship. It was a great time. It's nice to see that G-d is drawing many of the peoples to keep Torah. All these people from different countries/backgrounds reaching the same conclusion: there are wonderful things in His Law!
I would say more but I've got to run.
Shalom and Blessings,
Posted by Peter at 2:50 PM