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Friday, October 3, 2014

With my apologies

I have never struggled with saying 'I'm sorry', I do however have a real difficult time admitting I'm wrong. Stubborn, willful, stiff necked - yup that's me. On this eve of Yom Kippur  it's time for me to reflect on that negative personality trait, and do my best to fix it. I have some work to do, but God knows I am getting better all the time. I am grateful for His grace and mercy in my life.

"The Talmud, an ancient collection of Jewish law and stories, claims that God created repentance before creating the universe. Whether one believes in God or not, it's a compelling concept, one that emphasizes how we are fated to misstep, but that we also have the capacity to undo some or all of the harm we cause." - Elissa Strauss

I was recently asked why I observe the "Jewish" holidays. I was not born a Jew and it has caused moderate discomfort to family and friends at times over the last 5 or so years that I no longer participate in traditional Christian observances like Christmas.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the prophesied Jewish Messiah, for many years I did not. Spending my early twenties as a soft boiled atheist I was however, always seeking, looking for answers. As an avid student of history, I compared the world's mythologies discovering there were some common themes. For many years I lumped Jesus of Nazareth in with all the other 'wise teachers' of the ages. This was until I read the scriptures with different eyes - examining them in the context in which they were written. My personal discovery was that this itinerant poor preacher from the Galilee, was different. The whole book, from beginning to end, was unique in the world. The God of the Hebrews stands out among all the other gods, this 'myth' is not like the rest.
Coming to understand the significance of the seasons and cycles, commandments and times of the Lord has added richness, depth and substance to my faith. Making the leap of faith was a difficult one for me, understanding the Hebrew roots of Christianity helped to provide me with a foundation of evidence from which to make that leap. This knowledge is not reserved for the Jews, these are the feasts of the LORD, Jesus came for everybody. Hallelujah and AMEN!

I recommend:
ARTICLE Why even non-Jews should celebrate Yom Kippur
Elissa Strauss writes:
"The act of teshuvah discourages such thinking, pulling us away from the idea that misunderstandings and indiscretions can be so easily resolved. Here is how you do it:
1. Be regretful: This involves thinking hard about what you did wrong, and what kind of harm was experienced as a result.
2. Stop the offending behavior: You can't sincerely apologize for something you are still doing.
3. Confess to the sin and ask for forgiveness. Jewish law prescribes that this be done verbally, and that we remain humble and contrite in our request.
4. Commit to never repeating it. This one is tough."