Month 1:21, Week 3:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year:Day 5941:21 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 17 April 2017
Chag haMatzah 2017
VII. Farewell Chaverim!
Continued from Part 7
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el  and Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon and welcome to the seventh and last day of Chag haMatzah (Feast of Unleavened Bread) and the Pesach (Passover) Season:
Assembled for a Final Word
"For six days eat matzah (unleavened bread) and on the seventh day hold an assembly to Yahweh your Elohim (God) and do no work" (Deut.16:8, NIV).
Therefore we are assembled, according to the mitzvah (commandment) to hear a final Davar (Word) from our Elohim (God) as a community. After the regular sabbath tomorrow we will part once more and go our several ways to Norway and Denmark. This separation will be different because it will not be like previous separations.
Do Not Become Weary of Doing Good
I do not mean to sound mysterious here - I am simply sharing a strong impression I have been receiving for the last day. The substance behind this impression is best echoed by the words of Paul to the Galatians who said:
The Times to Come
"Those who live to please the Ruach (Spirit) will harvest everlasting chayim (life) from the Ruach (Spirit). So don't get tired of doing good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessings at the appropriate time. Whenever we get the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian/Messianic brothers and sisters" (Gal.6:8b-10, NLT)
We live in a trying age and the trials will only get more challenging. Lots of dramatic things will happen in a very short space of time so that each time we are reunited hence forth it will seem as though many years have passed. Not all of these things will, alas, be pleasant though they will be necessary and work for the good.
Stay True to Your Calling
We must, above all, stick to our calling, not abandoning the tasks given to us. It is natural to grow weary at times, even of good, worthwhile activities. Sometimes we are bored because the task seems endless. In this passage to the Galatians, Paul encourages us to always keep the end in mind - we will reap a blessed harvest if we keep at the task.
Personal Satisfaction vs. the Goal
For those of us in our autumn days, this will likely be our last mission. I don't know about you, but I personally want to make this count and, in the final analysis, to have been useful to the Kingdom labour. So it's at least important to realise that when we do Kingdom work for the sense of personal satisfaction, it is all to easy to give up if the benefits are long in coming. But if we choose instead to labour with the attitude that the process is as important as the outcome - and I believe this is the core of the message Yahweh wants me to give you today - then Yahweh is honoured in our work even apart from any apparent results. With that mind, every piece of the work we do will continue to be important to us.
Enjoy the Dance
In all of this we have a fundamentally important choice to make - and that choice is to allow the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to firmly plant Herself in our lives. Then we will not only produce the good fruits of Elohim (God) as an end but also enjoy the good fruits as an on-going, daily process. It becomes important to enjoy the dance - the labour - as much as its end or outcome. So don't get discouraged if the end takes a long time in the coming because while the end is important, the process is also supposed to be joyful and sanctifying. Let us enjoy the tasks given to us.
We Will Not Remain the Same
I said that we would not return the same next time, whether that be this summer at Shavu'ot (Weeks, 'Pentecost'), the coming autumn (fall) or even later, depending what transpires in the interim. We may not be able to travel if there is a disruption in communications caused by war or not have the money to travel if financial collapse has come. Nevertheless we are commanded to save a third of our tithe for the coming annual moedim (festivals) so that we are always equipped to travel.
Whatever it takes, whatever changes to our souls may be needed, I pray that we shall come to that spiritual place where, in perfect agreement, we can declare with Paul:
Die a Complete Death
"Elohim (God) forbid that I should boast of anything except the cross of our Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Because of that cross, my interest in this world died long ago, and the world's interest in me is also long dead...What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people. May Elohim's (God's) mercy and shalom (peace) be upon all those who live by this principle. They are the new people of Elohim (God)" (Gal.6:14-16, NLT).
We must leave here in two days' time or later with a view to dying a complete death to self so that we can arise as new creatures through emunah (faith) in the Son of Elohim (God):
"Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Cor.5:17, NKJV).
This has been, I think, a rather unusual Passover Season this year because we as a community are in our death throes. We're dying. Private gospels are being laid aside and Messiah's is occupying its rightful place. As this happens - as the Saviour finds a permanent home in our souls - so we will find ourselves called upon more and more to be about the Master's business in earnest. We have, I hope, learned from our mistakes, moved on and not looked back with any regrets.
There is one further thing I want to impress upon you before we end today. Speaking of the faithful Tanakh qodeshim (Old Testament saints/set-apart ones), the writer of Hebrews says:
"These were all commended for their emunah (faith), yet none of them received what had been promised. Elohim (God) had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect" (Heb.11:39-40, NIV).
Perfection - and the deep sense of satisfaction that comes with that - is only possible together, and not singly. We are simply carrying on a work that has been going on for millennia. I will not live to see its completion but I will enjoy its completion together with those of you who are coming after me and those of my generation. By the same token, those brethren of blessed memory who have gone before us, having completed their labour, will likewise share in those promises. Therefore we must learn, increasingly, to think and act and feel as basar echad - one body. The age of the private gospels is over.
Until the time we again assemble for an annual moed (appointment), may the Elohim (God) of the Good Work to which we have been called to serve together in be exalted both in our praises and in all our works, is my prayer at this the conclusion of Chag haMatzah 2017. Amen.
 For an explanation as to why there is a double sabbath at this time of the year - the last day of Chag haMatzah (a High Sabbath) followed by the regular sabbath the day after - see The Double Sabbath Explained