Month 1:14 (Aviv), Week 2:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year 5935:014 AM|
PESACH (Passover) ANNUAL MOED #1
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 17 [Red] April 2011
The Pesach Child
Finding It and Keeping It Forever
Continued from Part 5
As is our custom, we usually have a short address on Pesach morning for those who are able to attend. The message I have for you today has been on my heart for some weeks and I knew, when I received it, that it was for today.
When I told my wife I had to go and write something for you this morning she wondered why I had to write anything at all since I have 'zillions' of other sermons I could use. However, as every conscientious minister knows, the subject matter of preaching is not a matter of the minister's will, and nor is a sermon that was prepared under the unction of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) for another occasion in the past right for another. Every day is unique and every message is unique for that day.
Indeed I had a minister friend from Scotland who had a large ring-folder stuffed with sermons he had written many years before. I was amazed when he told me that he didn't need to write anything anymore as he simply recycled his old sermons. I had always wondered why his sermons were so dry. Every sermon that is inspired by the Ruach (Spirit) is crafted for the particular day for the particular listerners or readers. Today's is one for just that.
Pesach is the day of beginnings for every believer. It is the first step he makes into the world of the spiritual. It is his first act of trusting Yahweh. He steps forth in emunah (faith) and extends his hand to the Almighty not knowing what to expect. He just knows it is the right thing to do. He knows no theology. He probably doesn't even know God's Name and might not even know that He has a book called the Bible in which His emet (truth) is recorded. He knows little or any of these these things. He just knows there is Someone bigger than he is 'out there' and that somehow, because He made such a beautiful world, that He cares. And that child-like soul wants to hide in the safety of that caring Being.
If we, who are further down the derech (way) of Salvation are to understand the lev (heart) of a new believer, then we need to go back in time and remember when we first started trusting our Creator too. We are not supposed to forget that first encounter which is why we are not supposed to forget Pesach either. That is one of the reasons Yahweh has commanded us to celebrate it each year. The child that began his journey in Messiah must not only be never forgotten but he must never be allowed to be submerged or strangled. Once the Pesach-child dies, the whole soul dies too. The dark winter of the soul has begun. That Pesach-child is like the end of the tail of a comet. It was there that the main body of the comet had once been been before it 'moved on'. But just as a comet never loses its tail, neither is the mature believer ever to lose his Pesach-child. Every year at this season he should reconnect with that child. He should make sure that that bright streak of a spiritual tail is still intact.
There is a tendency amongst believers who lose that Pesach-child to grow hard, cold and purely intellectual. The softness of that child, whether a boy or a girl, is very feminine because its spirit is very soft. As we mature and grow up, and encounter the harsh realities of the world, there is a tendency to toughen up. For a man, who is the protector and defender of his wife and children, there is nothing wrong with that. That is part of his job description as the Family Rosh or Head. We celebrate him every Rosh Chodesh, after our Father in Heaven, in recognition of the necessity for all boys to develop toughness. However, unless the world robs it from them, boys who belong to Yah'shua (Jesus) are never supposed to lose that softness. It is supposed always to remain at the core of their being. A man must learn to be bold, aggressive to do and be what he is called to do and be. He must maintain a delicate blend of scepticism and trusting because as a man he must both defend what he knows as well as have the courage to abandon the well-trodden ground for new intellectually and spiritually virgin territory. He is supposed to be a path-finder, leading his family safely through the unknown.
Those Christian and Messianic men who immerse themselves in the world of macho males take grave risks when they start viewing their Pesach-child as a liability or 'effiminate'. All those who are filled with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) have a strongly developed feminine side which someone once described as "skin stretched over tenderness". A man, you will recall, has both male Y and female X chromosomes unlike the woman who has two female X's. A man in Yah'shua (Jesus) must, under the overall influence of male principle, have co-existing masculine and female streaks that create an inner dialectic which can produce a creative vitality. And it is this creative vitality that is supposed to spark both his sons and daughters.
Maintaining this inner tension is not an easy thing to do. Girls get this patterning from their fathers which sparks them and this is brought to completion in their husbands. To be creative is to be tossed about and bumped, sometimes hard. There is no such thing as life without bumps. What then becomes important is whether you are prepared to be bumped enough that you finally touch the bottom of reality and plant your feet firmly there. Obviously as a believer it will be much easiere to make sense of this less-than-smooth journey. It is the unbeliever who is often thrown into despair because he cannot understand its purpose. And if he is an atheist he will, when he is being honest with himself, find only despair until he makes the Pesach connection and dares to risk believing that there is One out there greater than Him who does have the blueprint of life and who can tell him what it means.
Whether boy or girl, there is nothing Yahweh loves better than engaging, wide-eyed, winsome innocence. That is the tail of the believer's comet and it is what burst into life when he had his "Pesach moment". Satan loathes this so passionately that he does everything in his power to crush it through mental, emotional, sexual and physical abuse of children. Marxism has always gone out of its way to stamp it out. Any of those abuses is enough to crush this little flower which is why every child needs a Pappa-Bear and a Mamma-Bear to defend her. She needs a family, a home, a fortress to shelter behind so that she can retain that innocence as she grows up.
A lot of people hearing and reading me today will have had that innocence stolen - probably the majority. The good news of Pesach is that this is the season when Messiah rebirths such things. Pesach brings the hope of new beginnings. Whether those who have been abused have responded by putting on a hard outer shell of rage and self-protection or simply allowed themselves to be rendered into weak, flaccid nothingness, the good news is that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) can and does restore. He can and does bring back innocence and gives you a new and bright shining tail! Irrespective of whether you became rock hard or wimpish because of your abuse, the one thing you do not want to hear at this stage is theology. Pesach is not about doctrines! Pesach is about rebirth. So the last thing an abused child or adult wants is to be given is the fossilised remains of an apple with teeth marks in it from the Garden of Eden in the form of doctrinal discourse as though this would enable him to connect back to that primordial innocence - what he needs is the real thing. He needs to see, touch, smell, taste and enter that Garden. He needs to be right there!
Yes, even at this stage we need emet or truth. We need some very basic, fundamental ones like God exists, God loves, and God cares personally about you. We need all the basic truths of what it means to flourish as a small child. And these are essential. These simple truths automatically make you a better being once you embrace them and you cannot grow into a balanced human being without them. These truths enoble. And nobility - not of the pridish sort - is what we all need. It is the nobility that comes from belonging to someone who cares about you and loves you without any sort of a price tag attached. And I have to say here an now that this nobility defies all logic. So if you try to approach it intellectually you will fail. The intellect builds the vessel that holds this wine, it is not the wine itself, and alone it can never understand it. The wise man does not even attempt to go down that road. I like the way Solzhenitsyn describes it:
You can't learn this at school. More than likely you will lose it at school, which is the tragedy of our Western system. You can only learn this at home in a loving family or in the arms of your Heavenly Father once you have jumped into them. That's what you are supposed to do spiritually at Pesach. You leave the unsafety of the slave world of Pharaoh and jump confidenly into the lap of a loving Father. And if you remain there, He will take you away from your tormentors, across wind-swept deserts, through the occasional oasis, until you have arrived at the Land of Milk and Honey - an inner world, where you can find and maintain and make your core, of heavenly softness.
"Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into the realm beyond words...It's like that small mirror in the fairy-tales - you glance in it and what you see is not yourself; for an instant you glimpse the Inaccessible, where no horse or magic carpet can take you. And the soul cries out for it."
So what does Yahweh want you to do today? He wants you to run up to Him and sit on His lap! Nothing more. And that's why you're not getting a theological discourse from me today. Theology is not for small children - that doesn't come until Shavu'ot! If Rosh Chodesh is Fathers' Day and if each Sabbath is Mother's Day, then every Yom Rishon - the first day of every week - is Children's Day...for all of us, big and small people alike! And Pesach or Passover is all about passing out of the world of destroyed innocence and entering into it again while the angel of Yahweh destroys the instruments of child-abuse and making it our core for ever!
May you have a truly wonderful day on Abba's lap. A blessed Pesach and day of new beginnings to you all!