I believe that too few Christians have a true grasp of the spiritual heritage of Christianity…I’ll admit I’ve been one of them. But if I can help it, that’s about to change for me.
Last night, I went with a group of friends from Eastridge to visit Congregation Beth Hallel in Roswell to take part in the Messianic Jewish Shabbat service. A couple who are members of Eastridge were members at Beth Hallel when they lived up that way, and the wife’s family are still members there, so there’s a bit of a relationship established between the two congregations. We were greeted warmly when we arrived (after a huge dinner at Marietta Diner, I should add), and a row was saved for us. The congregants were friendly and genuinely glad to see us.
The service began with a female volunteer who lit candles and prayed a prayer in Hebrew. Then the congregation was led in traditional Hebrew liturgy with passages and prayers about Yeshua (Jesus) added. We recited the Sh’ma verses from Deuteronomy, and it struck me that these same verses have been recited in synagogues (and churches) for thousands of years. I felt a poignancy about the link between the Old and New Testaments.
After Worship, with a small band, mostly minor-key Davidic music, a sonorous cantor recited more Hebrew and English responsive readings and verses from the Torah. Rabbi Kevin Solomon delivered a powerful message on respect. Following the service, Rabbi Kevin spent about an hour with us, answering questions and enlightening us on what Messianic Judaism is all about. He said that Christians who have an understanding of their spiritual heritage will naturally have a greater appreciation for God.
I’m going to seek out more information and learn more about Judaism…particularly Messianic Judaism. I want to know my God more deeply by learning more about my spiritual heritage. Thank you to everyone at Rabbi Kevin Solomon and his father, Rabbi Robert Solomon, and to my new friends at Congregation Beth Hallel (our “sister congregation” in Rabbi Kevin’s words).