Note: This post is part of a series. Please scroll down to read other posts and introduction.
Moving from a 'drive-everywhere' city to a 'walk-or-take-public-transportation-everywhere' city has taken some getting used to, but the weather was so beautiful today (high of 60 degrees) that I did a lot of walking and loved it! Since I have been walking much more than I'm used to, I have also noticed how New Yorkers tend to "watch the sidewalk" as they pass you, avoiding eye contact for the most part, and rarely giving any kind of acknowledgment or greeting at all. (Although I will say that a few people have acknowledged my daughter, Elli, especially when she is toddling down the sidewalk!) I strive to not conform to this cultural norm, even while living in Brooklyn, but it's difficult. Sometimes it's easier to just look down, rather than look into the eyes of the person you're passing, especially when you know from experience that they will most likely pass you in silence no matter what. Granted, there are a lot of "abnormal" people who flock to bustling cities, so people who live there tend to be a little more cautious or even suspicious of strangers, but I still believe that G-d provokes us and even commands us to reach out to others (even in New York).
Although Palm Beach County is home to a very large Jewish community, there are more "visibly" Jewish (religious) people here in Brooklyn, which is great because it means that my husband and I have more visual reminders as to why we are here and the ministry that we have been called to. Today, for instance, as a Chassidic Jew ran (literally) into the post office to drop off a package while I was waiting in line, I was again reminded of my ministry. Above all joys and aspirations I have as a writer, a mother, a wife... none would even compare to witnessing a Jewish person come to faith in his or her Messiah, Yeshua, and if that Jewish person is "religious" my joy would be multiplied even more!! Witnessing this miracle often happens far too few times for those of us involved in Jewish ministry. However, even if you are not involved with a ministry organization, we are all called to be emissaries for Yeshua... to be His hands and feet, to shine His light. But how can we do this if we conform to watching the sidewalk?
With Passover fast approaching, remember that we are preparing our homes for a Feast of the L-rd. If He is at the center of this celebration, I know He will share with us what it is that we must do. Who does He want you to invite to the Passover seder? What does He want you to share with them? How will it bring Him the most glory? If we clean our homes until they sparkle and shine, what ultimate good will it do if we only invite those who already live there?
During this season of renewal, rebirth, and redemption, let us make Yeshua known to all who will listen, especially His chosen people, the lost sheep of the House of Israel. There's no better time than now, and no better season than Passover, the time to remember Yeshua's sacrificial death and the salvation that comes from believing in Him who died in our place. Isaiah 53 is a great place to begin to share the Messiah's story. In case this is new territory for you, here are a few preliminary pointers for sharing Yeshua with a Jewish person:
1. Choose your terminology carefully. I avoid terms like "christian", "church", "Christ", "convert", and "cross" because these all have negative connotations in the Jewish world and are often associated with Catholicism. Also, if you have noticed, I never attempt to write out or pronounce G-d's name (the Tetragrammaton): 1. Because it is Holy and by not pronouncing it, I am attempting to not "take it in vain" as we are commanded. And 2. A religious Jewish person would be offended to see G-d's name used in a common manner, so I choose not to use any of those attempts at pronouncing G-d's name on my blog. (I completely understand, however, the fact that religious Jewish people will still be offended by me naming Yeshua as the Messiah, choosing to live by Torah even though I was not born into a Jewish family, and by proclaiming to Jewish people that they need to believe in Yeshua as well...and I accept that. But I would rather not offend them concerning the Holy Name of G-d, so I will continue to use "G-d", "L-rd", "HaShem", and sometimes "Adonai" to refer to Him. For more about using G-d's name, read this article: http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Sacred%20Name%20parts%201-3.pdf)
2. Show them the Messiah using the Tanach (Hebrew Bible). (He's there!! ) He's in all the Feasts of Leviticus 23, and He's in all of the 39 books! I found this list helpful for presenting G-d's plan and man's need for redemption, taken from the booklet, "How to Introduce Your Jewish Friends to the Messiah":
---1. "G-d loves man and desires that all men should experience a life filled with His blessings: Deuteronomy 6:3, Psalm 16:11, Psalm 36:7-10, Isaiah 41:10
---2. Man is separated from G-d by sin: he is a sinner by nature and by will: Job 15:14-16, Psalm 53: 2-4, Psalm 130:3-4, Psalm 143:2, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Isaiah 64:6, Jeremiah 17:9
---3. The result of sin and separation from G-d is spiritual death: Isaiah 59: 2-3, Jeremiah 31:30, Ezekiel 18:4
---4. Man is unable to find reconciliation with G-d through his own efforts or good deeds: Job 14:4, Psalm 49:7, Proverbs 20:9, Jeremiah 2:22
---5. G-d has provided a way by which reconciliation can be accomplished. Atonement is available through the Messiah as a free gift to all men: Leviticus 17:11, Psalm 49:15, Isaiah 43:11 & 25, Isaiah 53:3-12
---6. The Messiah's atoning death may be appropriated unto salvation by faith in its efficacy: Genesis 15:6, Nahum 1:7, Habakkuk 2:4
---7. Only by repentance of sin and acceptance of Yeshua the Messiah as Savior, through prayer by faith, can reconciliation be made with G-d: Psalm 32:1-5, Proverbs 28:13" (pp.37-38)
3. Study Jewish history and culture and strive to make connections/relationships with Jewish people. They will believe what they see, so show them Torah being lived in your life! Share your testimony and share what Yeshua has done for you. For more testimonies and tips, go to http://www.chosenpeople.org/
Well, I hope this information has been helpful. Let's pray that during this Passover season, many will come to know Yeshua as Messiah! Preparations don't cease once our homes are clean and ready! Many still have not heard that the Passover lamb was sacrificed for them, so let's tell them.