Last night we examined the life and habits of the assembly of believers that accepted Messiah Yeshua on Shavuot, some 2,000 years ago, just after the Master’s ascension. We found that their conduct was marked by devotion to four things that are hallmarks of Judaism, even today:

  1. Devotion to the Apostles’ Teaching – the Study of Torah
  2. Devotion to Fellowship – the life of Community
  3. Devotion to Breaking Bread – the habit of Hospitality
  4. Devotion to the Prayers – the praise and worship in Liturgical Prayer

Given the opportunity, the believing community was self-described by their actions as a sect of Judaism, not a new religion, or even apostate Judaism. These believers found favor in both the eyes of the Pharisees (many of whom believed in Yeshua) but also the am ha’aretz, the common people of the Land. They were a practicing Temple sect of Judaism, more devout in many ways than the Essene community. They congregated in the Temple. They didn’t run out to build their own synagogue or church in which to worship. They went up to the Temple at the Torah mandated times of worship and prayer, just like every other devout Jew.

Does your faith mark you as decidedly practicing Judaism, or something unknown and foreign to Judaism? The Messiah is a Jew. He practiced Judaism, His followers practiced Judaism. Gentile believers were added to the commonwealth of Israel, practicing Judaism and following the traditions of the Elders, as Paul praised and exhorted them.

Our second hour was devoted to prayer – or rather a discussion of it. Many folks are turned off by the thought of cold, repetitive, liturgical prayer. I asked you if you would encourage someone to participate in Liturgical Prayer and you overwhelming said, “Yes!” I prompted you for 10 reasons why and you gave me nearly a dozen unique, great, heartfelt expressions of praise. Perhaps the liturgical nay-sayers will give it a chance. It changed my life! Your mileage may vary… Audio and slide presentation are available on the Resource page.

Remember, as is our habit, we will not be meeting during July, so make every effort to make the four classes in June!

Shalom,

Yosef ben Yosef

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