You might know the song lyrics… “You came from Heaven to Earth to show the way…” That’s what Jesus was always doing. Even His miracles were not merely to demonstrate His deity. He was showing us how to do what He did and even more! It wasn’t about proving He was the Son of God. It was about showing us that we too, were children of the Father of Lights and could learn to do even greater things than Jesus did.
Perhaps my biggest take away from the 30/30 Worship Challenge has been learning to worship God the Father. I have tended to relate more to Jesus in my prayer life, but it was Jesus who encouraged us to go directly to the Father. And think of this… When asked how to pray, Jesus didn’t say to begin your prayer like this… “O most powerful Lord of the Universe, Magnificent Creator of Heaven and Earth, we humbly come to Thee…”
I would have expected that, but no, Jesus said to pray like this… “Our FATHER who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name…” It’s beyond comprehension for me, that the God of all creation wants us to know we are His children, called by His name, for good works prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. As the Scripture says, “Oh, what manner of love that we should be called the children of God.”
While in Israel I did a few things in my pursuit of God that I never thought I would do. For one, we went to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) to pray and slip a piece of paper in the cracks with a prayer request and leave it there. One friend of mine, (Alex) asked me if I would plant a specific written prayer in the Western Wall for him, which I was only too happy to do. Men and women are separated so Judy and I couldn’t go together. We took our respective turns at the wall, side by side with Jews and Christians praying for among other things, the peace of Jerusalem.
As I approached the wall, I was called back by security and asked to wear a skull cap or kippah to approach the place of prayer. Out of respect for our Jewish hosts, I complied with one they supplied for folks like me. It really was a special time of prayer for Judy and I as we interceded for a nation and a people God loves. (Jacob have I loved)
At the wall, I was so thankful that God has revealed Himself to us through Jesus Christ, the express image of His person and that He has broken down the middle wall of separation so as to create in Himself, one new man from the two, thus making peace. May God quickly remove the veil over the eyes of the Jewish people that may also receive their Messiah. May we learn to live a life that readily demonstrates the power of God available through Jesus Christ so as to provoke them to jealousy and save some of them. (Romans 11:14)
So happy for you two! Hope your Resurrection Day is so special this year!
Thank you Robert! I trust it will be so, for us and for you & Barb as well!
I got goosebumps reading about your time at the wailing wall…visualising Jews and Christians together, praying of one accord. Powerful.
It was moving in ways I never expected. You and Mark would love it!
Please understand that I am not being petulant, nor condescending in raising this topic; and, I want you you to know, that I hold you in the highest regard as a Christian Brother.
This is more than just a frivolous question, in fact it speaks to the heart of some very black and white issues, that many Christians today make some very flimsy excuses for not obeying, or just ignoring. I have always wondered why Jews have adopted the practice of wearing yarmulkes. The Apostle Paul makes a very big point of saying that: “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.” This passage in Corinthians does NOT say, that this is just some cultural pittance, that people can ignore if they want to, but it dishonors his head who is God. To begin with, I have heard people say that Paul was just just instructing them in the culture of the day; but, that makes absolutely NO sense in context. Secondly, since Paul himself was as knowledgeable as anybody could be about the Jewish practice of his day; then, whose culture was he instructing them in? Why would he be instructing them about their own culture?
So! Since Paul OBVIOUSLY would have never worn a yarmulke to begin with; and, since wearing yarmulkes is a relatively recent practice since about 500 AD; and, since Jews are NOT known for changing long held traditions or symbolically rich religious practices, this is as big a mystery as one will ever encounter. These facts also highlight (at least to me), that a man NOT praying with his head covered is a UNIQUE Christian teaching given to Paul by God, and it is not really up for a ‘cultural debate’.
My point being, that you may have been honoring your hosts, by wearing a yarmulke; but you were dishonoring God in the process. So, what should take precedence, and why?
Hi Stephen… I think you raise an important point and one that had not even crossed my mind when I was there. I had no intention of wearing one, but on my way to the wall, I was asked to do so.
In the spur of the moment, I thought of it along the lines of removing your shoes when you enter someone’s house – (if that is their custom). I thought I was merely being polite because I was a guest in their place of prayer.
The Scripture you quoted makes perfect sense. Next time, I will most likely defer from praying there or simply not wear the yarmulke. You can tell from the video, it caught me off guard. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I will study this out further.