Tag Archives: Rabbi Yeshua
“Son of man, stand up on your feet, and I will speak.”~Ez 2:1
There are times that stand outside of time. Times when the sundial stands still. It doesn’t go backwards. It doesn’t go forward. It just waits. Holding its collective breath of past, present and future until it seals itself into the fiber of every living thing. Times when one knows, even as one is marching down the hallway with the groanings of the Holy Spirit pouring from the depths of whatever it is that aches deep inside of all of us, that life is about to change.
Those verbs are often the way I feel my way to Our Father’s path and will. Today was one of those days. As I stomped down the hallway, I spoke aloud, “There is no way there is an answer in Your book for this one. None. Zilch. No way, Jose. But I’m going to look, just because You won’t quit nudging me until I do so.”
Yet, deep within me – in that place that aches beyond description and the font of tears that seem to be unending through this whole process, I know differently. He has always answered my prayers immediately and blessed my steps beyond measure since He set my feet on this path. So while I may have been arguing in my physical world, I followed His nudge and did what I have done since I was tiny, I began my march down the hall to find His WORD. Questions bubbling. Doubts swirling. Muttering rather loudly. Lab girls following – after all – they generally know when I need them next to me. I knelt by my bed and randomly opened His Sefer.
“Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you…”
Needless to say, the words had a voice. A voice not my own. A voice, that even now, continues to ring in my head. Continues to ring long after the sundial once again started it’s shadowy path, and an almost full moon has taken its place. Thus, not being totally stupid, I decided that I am soooooo not arguing with this voice as I stood and continued to read.
Tonight, as I re-read these words written long ago by a Jewish priest, I am humbled. Why do I continue to question and doubt? You’d think after 68 full journeys around the sun, I would have a little more sense of these things. Sin nature is strong – and after all – we believers are often a strong and stubborn lot. Just ask Jonah.
“Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me…obstinate and stubborn…”~Ez 2:3-4
Teaching has always been my balance in this chaotic world. A chance to pay it forward. A chance to be blessed by so many hugs and smiles. A chance to watch the lightbulb light up many eyes. It is when I am teaching that I feel closest to Rabbi Yeshua. I know deep within me that He also watched for those lights to shine in all the eyes in front of Him as He taught them. He watched for mine today as it lit up my heart.
It was not the answer I wanted – nor the answer I sought – and yet – it was the very answer for exactly the right moment in this place in time. A place where time stood still and the out of body experience still echoes throughout the house. A place and a time for which I was created, and my tears were dried as I ate the scroll of “lament and mourning and woe.”v.10
I am learning, I think. Ever so slowly, but the Light did come on for one brief moment. Maybe – I’m learning – just a little.
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of GOD.” ~Matt 5:9
[Greg Olsen, artwork]
3 is one of those prime numbers that people love to use as an example for life’s ups and downs.
“Whoops – two things have happened. Wonder when the third will occur?”
“Didn’t exchange 3 words with that dude.”
“It’s a 3 alarm fire.”
3 cheers – 3 R’s – 3 musketeers – 3 sheets to the wind…
Need I say more?
In Jewish tradition 3 – in essence – it the number that builds a bridge between two opposing values. 3 days between death and resurrection is probably a strong way to look at this in concrete terms. Hence, since 3 X 10 = 30, it is suggested that 30 is a strong number as well. 30 days in a month – 30 pieces of silver – “oh-dark-thirty” which is military speak for any hour before the dawn – “Don’t trust anyone over 30” which a lot of us baby boomers recognize as a memorable quote shouted from the rooftops of our wisdom – – – not to mention an the opposite – – – – Rabbi Yeshua began his ministry at age 30.
To many, 30 speaks of transition or reconciliation in time – in life – in growth. To many, it is the age when a person comes into their full strength – in physical, emotional, or spiritual maturity. “This power to begin transforming the world in earnest begins when we turn thirty. Up until that point we are in training.” ~Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)
30 years. 30 months. 30 days. 30 hours. 30 seconds. 30 in ad finitum.
I’ve been walking a journey for 30 days now. It still feels like a transition. It doesn’t feel like strength or even reconciliation – – yet. But it has – at times – been a journey of 30 “long day’s journey into night” – – – and at other times – 30 “long day’s journey into LIGHT.”
When GOD gave me my Bible verse this year of Rev 21:5 “I am making everything new!” I laughed. It was the new year. I’m entering into the last year of my 6th decade – I had recently started a new portion of my career journey – I was enjoying meeting the new people in my life through that job – so the verse made a lot of sense. Over the next couple months, new ideas for a book that I’d put on the back burner many years ago started coming to me. I was enjoying singing and playing the piano again. There were a couple of visions of things during my quiet time – you know the time – when you are half asleep and yet awake enough to start praying – that time before you throw your feet to the floor or snuggle your head back into the pillow – visions that literally – make me want to sing for joy at the top of my lungs even now – many, many 30 days later.
And then there was 30 days ago. A long day’s journey into the darkest of nights – – – – – – but – hard as it is for even me to believe – it has become a long day’s journey into LIGHT. One in the same. A transition. A reconciliation. A strengthening period of choices between two opposing worlds. Never an easy journey. But – then again – His journeys never are. BUT – and I sometimes choke on this as I am stepping out of the mud – His journeys are always, ALWAYS, worth it!
One GIANT step forward – two baby steps back.
There’s that three again.
Some go backwards, but when that one step goes forward it bridges the mud – the mess, the sloppy waste – and finds footing on a Rock that is higher. A Rock that is the cornerstone for where I want to be. A Rock that was made just for my foot, and a Hand that has carved my name into His nail, scarred palm.
30 is a good number, and as I stand on the bridge tonight looking back and looking forward, I begin to yawn – and smile as I contemplate a new step. (There’s those two opposing values again waiting for my step.) There are still many 30‘s ahead of me just as there are many, many 30‘s behind me. There are still many muddy traps waiting for my footfall, many bridges being built so that I can cross safely, and oh, so many dreams to achieve. For when Our Father gave me that verse this year, He planted so many new visions in my heart that I can’t wait to see what lies beyond this next step even if I cry as I take that step forward.
Seems right tonight. “For behold, I make all things new!”~Rev 21:5
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”~Jer 29:11
– 30 –
(as we used to end our newspaper stories)
Now tell me again why “Thoughts and Prayers” don’t matter??
How many times did Christ mention thoughts? Thoughts that cause us to sin. Thoughts that show our love for others. Thoughts that direct our paths. Thoughts in our Be-Attitudes. Thoughts that He shared with all He encountered. Thoughts that shape the mind – the body – the faith.
Time and time again, the Gospels mention Rabbi Yeshua praying. Praying with those around Him. Praying with a crowd. Praying over meals. Praying in the temple. Praying all alone – in the dark of night – in the early hours of the morning – for others – for Himself – in praise and thankfulness to His Abba.
“Thoughts and Prayers” matter.
They mattered to the early Christians as they faced the lions – faced stoning – faced crucifixion.
They matter on the battlefield of war – of illness – of addiction.
They matter to me.
They matter to Christ.
They matter to Our Father-GOD.
“Now it came to pass in those days that [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”~Lk 6:12 [Greg Olsen artwork]
“HE can turn the tides and calm the angry sea.
HE alone decides who writes a symphony.
HE lights every star that makes the darkness bright’
HE keeps watch all through each long and lonely night.”
The wonderful thing about having the house and time to myself is digging into some of my stacks of sheet music and sitting down at the piano. The fingers are not so limber these days. The mono-vision contacts sometimes cause a blurry second or two as I turn a page. The voice is not consistent – some days good – some days cracky – some days not there at all. And yet – once the fingers begin the familiar chords, the body relaxes and joy radiates from the inside out.
“HE still finds the time to hear a child’s first prayer;
Saint or sinner calls and always finds Him there
Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live,
HE’ll always say “I forgive”.
The other night, I stumbled across one of mom’s old songs. It was in Reader’s Digest Faith Songs, but it wasn’t the same as I remembered. The harmonizing power and sequences were missing from that digested form. So I got up and started digging into a stack of sheet music that I hadn’t pulled out in years. Songs my mother sang. Songs I played for her when she sang at different venues. Songs I played so often that I could see the cover page in my mind almost 60 years later.
“HE can touch a tree and turn the leaves to gold.
HE knows every lie that you and I have told.
Though it makes him sad to see the way we live,
HE’ll always say, “I forgive.”
This is also the time of year when I begin pulling the candles out of the windows and putting them away until next Halloween. The batteries have been slowly dying as if they have known all along that Lent is almost here. One candle a day until the windows are bare. A rainy week makes it even bleaker as night closes in, and the windows no longer flicker their meager light into a world that grows darker and darker – in more ways than one.
“HE can grant a wish,
Or make a dream come true.
HE can paint the clouds,
And turn the gray to blue.”
Rabbi Yeshua knew Darkness well. HE knew his children stumbled in darkness. HE knew they also trembled in darkness. But fear not – HE also remembered the beautiful world that HE had created. The world that was meant to be full of Light for the children His Father loved beyond compare. So HE prepared the world for this darkness. HE presented His lit candles to shine in eye-windows of His People’s world, and then offered them to all the people who wanted to light a candle in His name.
Light in the face of Darkness.
Light that reflects on all it touches.
Light that shines even brighter with His Word.
“HE alone knows where
To find the rainbow’s end.
HE alone can see
What lies beyond the bend.”
Before HE touched the tree, He knew the end. HE had already looked around the bend as HE shined His Light even brighter.
I tried to remember that tonight as I removed the first candle from my windows and later as I sang this old song. It is still raining and not a star in sight. Darkness has gathered and hovers close as I walk the dogs one last time. My feet stumble a little. My trembles curl my toes in my shoes. I feel His sadness within my own tonight. And yet – I fear not – even though HE knows every lie, every dark spot in my life, HE has already seen around the bend. His Grace lights my steps and I do no fear.
HE has already prepared us.
HE has presented the Light.
He has put down the Darkness.
He has pour out His Light upon us.
“HE can touch a tree
And turn the leaves to gold.
HE knows every lie
That you and I have told.
Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live,
HE’ll always says, “I’ll forgive.”~Songwriters: Jack Richards / Richard Mullan
For 17 years, I have worn this one shirt. It is a simple white shirt with an American flag, a bald eagle, the date, 9/11/2001 and one word written in red: UNITED.
Shortly after the attack, one of the teachers I worked with created this shirt for the staff. We wore it quite often that first year, but for the most of the past 17 years, it has just sat in my drawer and waits for that date to arrive.
“Remember your people, whom you chose for yourself long ago, whom you brought out of slavery to be your own tribe. Remember Mount Zion, where once you lived.”~Ps 74:2
We don’t forget where we were on days that change our lives. A father’s first heart attack – or second – or third. The death of JFK – of MLK – of RFK. Graduations. Watching a man walk on the moon. Resignation of a President. First loves – last loves. Death of a parent…parents. Birth of a child – from the heart or from the body……… 9-11-2001.
And somehow – in all of images that superimpose themselves one on top of another – I think of the Bible. If my finite, limited, mortal body puts such emphasis on memorable days, would not a loving Father do this as well – especially since He created us in His own image?
God’s memories of a stiff-necked, stubborn people – one group out of many that walked this earth – written then simplified enough for us to read, speaking in glorious metaphors of his love through each superimposed image – one on top of another. From one fateful decision by one couple under a tree, to a Son choosing to lay down His life on another tree, to the gates of the garden of trees being unlocked, and the return of our King on a white horse to throw those gates wide open.
“I’ve walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak
And I’ve seen the brighter days
And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place
And I have held the blessings
God, you give and take away”
The hills and valleys of this life frame our journey. We mark our time by them and – hopefully – grow in wisdom and thankfulness to the One who carved them both. Journeys are never easy. Our emotions rage from one extreme to another. And yet – the blessings of hidden bread and water await us at just the right moments – at just the precise time we need nourishment – at the perfect place in the journey so that we can continue forward.
“No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I’m standing in Your love.”
There is a song, that my youngest son drew my attention to a few months back. He may be many miles away, and we may not speak often, but he knows his mama’s heart so well. So today as I prepared a little more for that old, bag of wind Florence to hit town, I heard this song twice. It especially spoke to my heart on a day when bittersweet memories were stuck in a repetitive play, and I felt Our Father’s presence so close that I had to pray no matter where I was.
“On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there (to the one who set me there)
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain aft, didn’t get there on my own”
When I’m walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
At sunset tonight, a thunderstorm entered our area and thus, the third day of the Jewish High Holy Days began. I look at the question that I have set aside for today and wonder about the vision I see for the coming year. Then I get sidetracked and I wonder what Rabbi Yeshua pondered for his vision during his ministry years? What did his mother, Mary, envision for her life in that coming year as she watched her son set about His Father’s business? The disciples? His family?
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!” ~”Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells
Sometimes – I think way too much. I just need to turn off the question machine and listen, be thankful, and bend the cranky ol’ knees. After all – 17 years can go by in the blink of an eye.
“Listen Now -Serve the LORD with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.” ~Psalm 2:11
Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle is 9 months old. At least – that is the educated guess of our vet. She was a ball of fluff when she came to live with us, and for the longest couple of weeks in history, she pretty much lived deep in the crook of my arm,
With matted eyes, runny nose and only able to eat soft foods, I really didn’t think she would make it. What can I say? God is good and now, she is our totally pampered cat that thinks she is human…….or a dog. It depends on the day and how tolerant our Ryndi and Koay are feeling that day.
SSS knows some words. She comes when she is called – even though she tries to be totally cool about it. She meanders instead of running like our lab girls (who are totally not cool about anything). She knows the word “no”. And – – ta da – – she knows how to go deep when she wants to get something.
Deep under chairs.
Deep into the crevices.
Deep into the darkness where mice like to scurry.
Granted – they were baby mice – but they were two baby mice that will not grow up; two baby mice that I didn’t have to catch, so I’m totally down with that.
Needless to say, SSS (btw – that is sssssssss, for short) got a bunch of hugs and an extra dash of tuna in her bowl on both nights. (A part of me thinks she read my FB post from last Friday when I said she didn’t know how to really catch a squirrel.) She figured out something I am just figuring out. When we go deep – when we burrow into things – into deep waters – into deep crevices – into the deep of night – we will find the amazing at the WORD of the LORD .
“And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Take to the DEEP and cast your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and he said to him, “Rabbi, we worked all night, and we have not caught anything, but AT YOUR WORD, I will cast the net.” [all caps added]
I love the way Luke sets up this story. You can see Simon (Shimeon in Aramaic) tired after a long frustrating night of catching zilch, gets out of mending nets with the other fishermen to take this wandering rabbi out in his boat. The rabbi teaches, Simon catches a few z’s, and then, the crazy rabbi tells him to go deeper out into the water. You can just tell, that is absolutely the last thing Simon wants to do after being awake all night and catching nothing.
“And when they had done this, they caught very many fish and the net was breaking. And they beckoned to their partners who were in another ship to come help them and when they came they filled those two ships, so that they were almost sinking. And when Simon saw it, he fell before the feet of Yeshua and he said to him, “I beg you, my Lord, abandon me, for I am a sinner.”~Lk 5:6-9, Aramaic Bible
With a little foreshadowing, Luke describes Rabbi Jesus pushing Simon to stay awake a little longer and go deeper.
Deeper in the water.
Deeper in the WORD.
Deeper in his own heart.
Deeper to find the true rewards of a journey.
And what a treasure was found in those deep waters.
Boats-full of fish.
Deep joy – love – peace – grace – beyond all understanding.
Going deep is often scary. When I was little, I took swimming lessons. The red cross at our local dam said I was ready to go deep. So I swam out to the raft and dived into the water. The bad news? I dived off the raft and came up under the raft and knocked myself out. Scared everyone there – including my mom who swam out as soon as she couldn’t see me.
My parents didn’t let me quit. They kept pushing me to go back to that deep water in the succeeding days, and I eventually got my swimming certificate. I never did like deep water after that. (which was totally the wrong way to look at it). After all these years, I have figured out that it wasn’t going deep that was the problem. It was the stuff on the surface that “cracked” me open.
Going deep – beyond the surface of things – opens a heart – a mind – to things that aren’t obvious from the top.
“Do not be afraid; from now on, you will be catching men for salvation.” And they brought those ships to land, and they left everything and they came after him.”~Lk 5:10-11
As a student, educator, mom, grandmother, and citizen – the past few days brings the violence a little closer to my heart. The world of education has been my world for most of my 67 years of life. It is the world I know. It is the world I love.
Those are my thoughts. I have many thoughts.
I was the 7th grader sitting in a classroom where a classmate stored their hunting rifle in the teacher’s closet. Later, I went on dates with a rifle in a gun rack right behind me.
I was the young educator threatened with a knife and later a gun during my early years of teaching.
I am mom who sent her children to schools where I taught and sent them off to colleges and work places in big cities – far, far away.
I am a Grandmother who weekly picks up her Grands from their school.
I am a senior citizen who cries for her country.
Actually, I cried for my country many years ago while I was still in college. I watched my university close down for a period of time due to violence. As one of two white faces, I sat in a one of the first Black Studies courses taught on campus. I was ridiculed, in-your-face harassed several times by other students in that class, as well as threatened bodily harm in very descriptive terms.
I cried for an ugly war. I cried for people I knew who were fighting there. I cried for the soldiers were spit upon and heckled as they wore their uniforms. I cried over choosing abortion over life because I was a fool.
I have thought about these things over the past few days. I have thought about the posts on both sides that seems to further the division between all sides of the issue. The palpable anger that seems to resonate between the lines on a screen or the voices on TV/radio. I thought about FL.
I have thoughts…….and……I have prayers.
Sometime in my late 20’s I figured out that thoughts are not enough. Life is complicated and way beyond my meager understanding. Humbled prodigals can find their way home. However, there was something that was much wiser than my own thoughts. Something that had guided my path until I got lost.
“This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.”~Mk 15:42-47
As I read this passage today, I thought about the young ladies being buried in FL. I thought about a Father who also watched His Son being buried. I thought about the night before when Rabbi Yeshua prayed. That mysterious connection that opened between Heaven and Terra – between Father and Son.
That choice. That action.
That prayer. That blessing.
When people say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” I wonder if those are the words the Father replied to his Son? And if they were, I wonder how closely the Son held them in his heart when he heard the temple guards approach? What I do know – there was no anger in his actions. There was peace and healing.
So I pray and think some more.
Whether a person means those words is not for me to judge – only Our Father can determine that. But if those were the words – or something similar – that Christ held in his heart throughout everything he endured on that last day, that phrase is not a throw-away to be denigrated.
It is a choice.
It is an action.
It is a blessing.
Thoughts and prayers.
A blessing to those who are suffering – to those in pain – to those who are sorrowful – to those who are needy.
“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me…” ~Jn 11:41b-42a
Sleeping-in on a dreary, rainy morning, picking up the novel of dujour, and snuggling under the covers has always been one of my favorite things to do. It just such a rarity these days that it has become a treasure chest memory of days long gone bye-bye.
First off, it is Sunday. I didn’t need to be sleeping in today. I needed to be up for church this morning. Didn’t happen. Instead my internal alarm clock that usually wakes me 15 minutes before I need to be awake, didn’t go off in my head until an hour and a half later. sigh.
Second, the book dujour that always has rested by my side during the night has been replaced by bouncy, smiley dogs. Dogs that are generally staring at me, tongues out, warm, smelly breath in my face, ready to drag me from sound sleep into their active world before I have even whispered my morning prayers.
In other words, my day didn’t go as I planned. So I do what I tend to do when things go awry, I followed the breadcrumbs. Went to my church via internet and worshiped with the people I usually worship with – only from my recliner. In fact, I could even share my pastor’s sermon with you tonight via YouTube. We live in amazing technological times even though the world often seems darker than ever before – literally and figuratively.
Later in the day, I followed the breadcrumbs back to John 11 as I have done most of this week. The last time I wrote, Jesus wept. He wept with compassion for Martha and Mary’s sorrow. He wept for Lazarus who had lain entombed for the past four days . He wept for His people who needed grace; grace that only He would provide. He wept as the foreshadowing covered them all in front of the tomb.
Then, He prayed.
A simple prayer. “Abba, I thank You that You have heard me…” Then in the same poor in spirit attitude that he taught in the beginning of his ministry, he continued his prayer. A prayer that was filled with faith in his Father’s love and mercy. “And I know that you always hear me, but for the sake of this crowd that is standing here I said these things, that they may believe that you have sent me.” ~v.42
Today, the breadcrumbs led me to see the full circle of Rabbi Yeshua’s prophecy from the beginning of chapter 11, “This sickness is not of death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified because of it.” ~v. 4, to Lazarus walking out of the tomb.
And then – – why am I surprised??? – – another breadcrumb appears on my path. God is good and loves to drop breadcrumbs on my path, which is really great since I would be way overwhelmed with a full loaf of bread dropped under my feet.
In any case, my pastor was really stringing pearls today from OT to NT and back again. As he spoke, the treasure chest of memories opened up. Singing this blessing in my church choir – in my high school choir – with the All Ohio Youth Choir – with my college choir – on the marching band bus – on choir tour buses – in cathedrals – under bridges – small groups – large groups – mixed quartets – college party nights under the stars (seriously – that’s the kind of parties I went to in college – and yes, in all other ways it was a typical college party from the 70’s)…
God blessed me many times over today, and more than I deserved. Such is grace. I am so glad this day didn’t go as I had originally planned. God always does a much better job in the planning department.
‘ “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’Num 6:24-26
“Jesus wept.”~Jn 10:35
It is the shortest verse in the Bible and yet…it catches my breath every time I read it.
I’ve been thinking of the story of Lazarus all week. It seems Our Father does this to me often. He plops breadcrumbs down in front of my feet – like I’m supposed to know what to do with them.
Eat them? Follow them?
Obviously, I don’t handle His hints very well. Sometimes, I crush them – mostly by accident…..I think – with the heel of my boots. Sometimes, I stoop down to study them where they are lying, wondering if I really want to deal with the mess of breadcrumbs in my pocket – you know – they crumble, right? Sometimes, I pick them up – popping them in my mouth – – duh, I’m hungry and the five second rule works for me. And sometimes – I pick them up and turn them carefully in my hands and wonder why they sparkle in the sun? Then I wonder just what in the world am I supposed to do with a sparkly breadcrumb?
It has been one of those weeks. The breadcrumbs have been plentiful – way more than I can handle – and I’ve been befuddled on what to do with all of them. My path littered with crumbs I’ve inadvertently crushed. My belly full of broken challa that feeds my soul. My pockets, a crumbly mess of wisdom that I wish I understood just a little more. My hands full of somewhat intact crumbs that sparkle and then I look up. The darkness thins, and He shows me why they sparkle. They are covered with tears.
As I’ve been reading Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg which led me at some point to the story of Lazarus. As if to drive the point home, I stumbled over to a podcast by a Messianic Rabbi on John Chapter 11. Till finally last night, there was a transforming catalyst of the breadcrumbs and that sent me to the back door slider in our home. A sunset. A ray of light reflecting off my tears. He always prepares me, I just am not so smart at realizing it until I look closely at those breadcrumbs that I hold tenderly in my hand.
Rabbi Yeshua was close to His followers and even closer to His disciples. He was their teacher for as long as He was given. His Father gave him a list, and He gathered them by calling their name or telling a story or by just a look over a crowd. He broke bread with them. He taught them with love. He patiently explained this new knowledge in different ways, over and over and over. He struggled when they struggled with their faith. He wept when they wept for great was His compassion – – – great was His love.
In our society, students don’t stay as long with their teachers as they did in Jesus’ time. However, like the rabbis of old, teachers today still share tiny bits of their lives, knowledge – and hopefully – wisdom with those given to their charge by the Father through a list typed out by the school secretary in some office. Before they know it though, the students are walking out the door and onto their own paths; their teachers sniffle a little as they wave good-bye.
As teachers, we don’t talk about it much. We act like it is just a job. Actually, I don’t think we understand the process as much as we think we do. We just know – that somehow – we grew attached. We gathered them at the beginning of the year. We broke bread with them. We laughed with them. Struggled with them in their struggles. We sweated in the heat of the summer that didn’t know when to quit. We froze in the depth of winters when old boilers couldn’t keep up with the below-freezing cold. We wept when the ugliness of life jumped out of the bushes and unto the path that we are walking together.
Storms that break tree limbs.
A national tragedy – a local tragedy – a familial tragedy.
The connection between teachers and students has been there since the beginning of time and will continue in the everlasting gospel (Rev 14:6). It has been modeled for us throughout the entire WORD. When Our Father gathered His people to Him. When He sat on Mount Sinai with Moses and the Elders to break bread (Ex 24:9-10). When He carved His law upon the tablets and told Moses what to write in the Torah (Ex 19-24). He struggles with His people when they struggle. He weeps with holy tears as His people weep (Jer 14:7).
Teachers – Students – breadcrumbs that sparkle with tears in every season of life. God is good and greatly to be praised. Amen and amen.
“On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”
Not sure why staying home, doing mundane, everyday things bring me want to leap for joy. I just know it does.
Cardinals fussing around the bird feeders. A chicken hawk trying to grab a grey squirrel off a tree (he missed by the way – and boy – did that squirrel scurry down the tree). Dogs sliding in the snow just so they could roll in it one more time. Kitten playing in the box I’m trying to fill with Christmas past. Folding laundry. Cooking hot dogs with onions wrapped in a toasted tortilla. Learning something new during devotions.
It all just makes me – – – full of leaping joy.
“On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me: 10 lords a-leaping.”
Traditionally, the 10 lords refer to the 10 commandments. 10 road markers to guide a weary traveler. 10 rock-solid principles in a wacky world of slithering truths. 10 laws that guided a way-ward, stubborn people out of slavery and idolatry into the promise land of new milk and honey sweet manna. 10 laws that Rabbi Yeshua followed faithfully as He walked in this physical world.
“But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy. For You bless the godly, O LORD; You surround them with Your shield of Love.”~Ps 5:11-12
One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. One of the words the angels used on the night Our Father sent His Son to live with us. One of the words that Rabbi Yeshua used often. Is it any surprise that I’m leaping for joy tonight? It may be cold outside. I may still have a coughing, sniffling cold. I may not leave the house for another three days because I just don’t want to do so.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”~Jn 15:11