Have you guys ever been to a Messianic congregation? We attended one for years in Dallas, and when my mother in law moved in next door to some amazing Russian Jews, they invited us to visit the congregation they attend. We went this morning.
First off, I have never, NEVER, never been greeted and treated with such warmth at any other kind of church. Messianic congregations know how to love each other. It felt like home the second we walked in. I am overwhelmed right now with how lovely it was to hear Hebrew prayers again and to hear a room full of people singing Jewish praises to our Messiah.
Secondly, I LOVE hearing sermons with so much reference to the Old Testament in them. At our other church, (which totally rocks, by the way) we hear mostly New Testament references. Of course, they have included Old Testament scriptures, but not as often as I'd like. I feel like I get to know my God better when I read the Old Testament. I'm going through all of the Old Testament this year. (Well, I started last year, but I'm hoping to complete a read through this year. I read through the New Testament a few years ago.) To me, the Old Testament brings the New Testament to life. Not that the New Testament by itself is dead. By no means. But it makes so much more sense when you add this history and prophesy to it. I just love all of God's Word. So rich.
Thirdly, does it get any better than Messianic Jewish praise songs?! Is that possible? I don't think so. I played flute in our congregation's praise band back in Dallas for years. This congregation has a flute player too who has such a bell-like voice. I was so nourished by that this morning. Plus, the guy who said the sermon looked like he'd driven to church on his Harley, and he played violin in the praise team. I couldn't be more giddy.
I am feeling very blessed this afternoon because of my time in this congregation this morning. I look forward to Shabbat there next week.