Sunday, May 13, 2007

Times of Refreshing

We're rapidly coming up on Shavuot (Pentecost), the Feast of Weeks. For anyone in the eastern Metro Atlanta area, Beth HaMashiach will be celebrating Shavuot with a cookout at Brisco Park on Wednesday, May 23, from 4-8pm.

We Messianics are often accused of legalism or putting ourselves "under the law" when we observe G-d's Appointed Times. On the contrary, such times are the epitome of G-d's grace, not only offering us relaxation and refreshment (as I said to Pat Donahue during our debate, I don't need to be saved from having more holidays), but tell us in detail G-d's plan of salvation. In Passover, we celebrate the sacrifice of the Lamb; in Matzah, the removal of sin; in Firstfruits, the Resurrection of Yeshua as the Firstfruits of the Dead (1 Co. 15:20). Shavuot celebrates both the giving of the Torah on tablets of stone from Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Torah on our hearts by the Spirit in the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34--I'll do a more detailed write-up closer to the event).

I spend a lot of time emphasizing G-d's grace in my ministry. That surprises a lot of people, who assume (erroneously) that Grace is incompatible with Torah. But the simple fact is that if we lose sight of G-d's wondrous and incomparable grace, these times of refreshing that the Eternal has given for our blessing (cf. Mark 2:27) become instead a burden to us, something that we have to do rather than something that we look forward to get to do.


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