5776: A Year for Unity, Brotherly Love, and Leadership

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What has been on my heart over the last few weeks is: what does this year have the potential to be and who do we (within the household of G-d) have the potential to be?

I’d like to share what I believe the potential is for this year and for those who believe in the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Unity

Did you know that last year, those who followed the Hillel II calendar as well as those who followed the conjunction kept the same day for Shavuot? Did you know that this will be happening again this year? What does this mean, if anything? Shavuot (Pentecost) is the day the children of Israel received the Torah. It is the day that they heard the sound of the shofar, the day their ears were opened and they heard the voice of G-d speak the ten words. All of them, stood at the base of Mount Sinai and received His words at the same time. They were one people, united, all together in one place.

Today, both Jews and Gentiles who believe in the G-d of the Bible are spread over the face of the earth. Some believers are not aware of His holy days, some are awakening to these days, thanks to authors exploring topics within biblical prophecy (such as the blood moons and shmittah/jubilee years), and some are awake and are observing, in at least some capacity, these holy feast days.

Whether or not these days are being observed in a certain manner (traditions) or even a specific day (on a specific calendar) is, I believe, unimportant. What I do believe is important is that people are seeing that G-d has His own calendar, and that He has appointed times, events that He’s had planned from the very beginning.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity! (Ps 133:1)

As I said before, Shavuot, will again fall on a Sunday this year, as it did last year, and like last year, it is an opportunity for both Jews (on the Hillel II calendar) and believers in Messiah (various calendars, including Hillel II) to come together as one on that day, in the Spirit, to celebrate and pray for the unity of all G-d’s children, both the native born and those who have been grafted in. Not that we would all believe the same things–not that Jews must accept Yeshua as they’re Messiah, not that believers in Messiah must convert to Judaism and follow all their traditions–but that we who are people of the Book would stand together with one voice, and declare, “Whatever You, our Father, declare, we will do.”

Brotherly Love

A dear Jewish brother, Hanoch Young, pointed out at a recent lecture that both Jews and non-Jews (who are moving into Torah observance) are both wrong in some things, but Hashem will correct us in due time (Jeremiah 46:28).

We are brothers and sisters with one Father. Our Father, is waiting for us to love one another, just as He has loved us and sent His Son, to die for us and bring reconciliation between both Jews and non-Jews (Ephesians 2:14). He loves us all; and His love is unconditional. How many of you having children hate to see them squabble and fight, and correct one another out of sense of superiority and/or entitlement? I dare say none of you. How much more, does our Heavenly Father, want to see us get along, work together, and serve one another from a place of love.

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another (Romans 12:10)

Leadership

We will never become true leaders–a nation of priests–if we cannot find common ground on which to unite and love our brothers and sisters within the covenantal family of Israel (both the native born Jew and those grafted-in) with an unconditional love. True leaders are humble like Moses, peacemakers like Aaron, and servants of the people like King David–and our Messiah embodies all these traits. These men are known as great leaders because they put their own selfish inclinations aside to serve G-d by serving the people of G-d. They did not put themselves in positions of prominence; they weren’t that ambitious; instead, they were called when they were found to be doing their jobs faithfully. They were doing the “menial tasks”–nothing the world would consider to be particularly special.

If we are ever called to be leaders in the Kingdom, it will be because we are doing the things Hashem has put in front of us to do right now. It will be because we have first learned to be servants. (Luke 19:12-27) For me, my job is both wife and mother. This is the only thing I am sure that I have been called to do in this life. And I have to say, it is not at all disappointing. It is a liberating revelation! It is so simple and yet so challenging. I am thankful for His divine will that put me in this position of being a keeper of the home. I now take more delight in my daily tasks, because I see it as my one, true calling, instead of a “place holder” until a so-called “better” calling comes along.

“If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

How merciful, how kind, how good, and how loving has my Father been to give me such beautiful charges such as my children, and a worthy partner in my husband. We have our own little microcosm of the Kingdom within these four walls of our home. We are united; we stand together against the evil outside our home, walking together and working together as a team, and we love each other without boundaries, confessing to one another and forgiving one another when we fall short.

If you would be a good leader, start small. Start within the four walls of your home, with your own family. Be faithful in the small day to day things, and see Him work mightily in your life and the lives of your loved ones.

“A true leader does not seek followers, he wants to teach others how to be leaders. He does not want control, he wants the truth. He does not impose his leadership on others, nor does he take away anyone’s autonomy. He inspires by love, not coercion. When it comes time to take credit, he makes himself invisible; but he is the first to arrive at the time of need, and he will never shrink away in fear. He is so passionate about your welfare that when you consult him for guidance, it is like coming face to face with yourself for the first time.” ~Rabbi Menachem Schneerson

May this year be a year we choose to unite as one man with one heart, to love without preconditions or boundaries, and be found faithfully doing the “small things” Hashem has called us to do in this world.

Blessings and Shalom,
Sarah