Since my last blog post there have been more than a few terrorist incidents in Israel. Tragically, they have been instigated by Muslims and Jews. One Jewish man killed another man, mistaking him for an Arab… and so the cycle of fear and violence continued… to recede into the background of the news when bad weather hit the country leading to a power outage in the middle of the country. Now electric workers are on a slow-down strike and a week after the rain storm, some homes remain without electric!
Israel is truly a microcosm of the rest of the world and a glimpse into our sinful hearts, where the hearts of men grow cold to one another.
In the midst of this anguish, I was blessed to participate in a special praise evening in my congregation on September 28. The worship team (which I sing with) has been working for the past few months on some new songs in Hebrew, and old songs with new arrangements. We are quite a group, our roots coming from amongst the Jewish and Arab people, and with our family roots from a range of nations including Romania, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia, the USA, Korea, Vietnam, China, Ireland, and England. Only Jesus can unite such a diverse group of people. Our meeting hall was packed with an equally multicultural crowd—standing room only. Everyone in the audience joined with us in singing the songs they knew. It was like an oasis of heaven reaching down and touching us. For a couple of hours, the worries of life and the realities of our world faded away as we focused on the greatest and most true reality—the glories of our God and Savior.
The young man on my left in the picture is Yotam, my Godson. How amazing that once I was teaching him how to sing songs during the meetings when he was little, and now he is a young man, soon to finish his army service!
I am thankful for these moments when we can gather with others and together, stop focusing on the pains of this world, and instead, look up, for our redemption truly draws nigh!
Whatever unfolds in the coming days and week in our lives, in our nations, in the world, in this we can rest assured: Our God is with us wherever we go and in whatever situations we face. May these thoughts be an encouragement for us all as we begin a new week.