What I am going to share below was a very, very intimate and personal spiritual experience that I had 2 weeks ago. I haven’t been writing in the blog because I’ve wanted to blog about this, but it is so personal that i’ve struggled to even talk about it. I don’t think this post did my experience justice. And just because I had this experience does NOT mean you will too. I could have misheard things (I am severely hard of hearing) and could be misrepresenting the messianic experience. The blog below is not meant to offend or take away from the faith or be disrespectful to anyone of the jewish faith, jewish heritage, or messianic faith. This experience, to me, felt like “coming home”. It’s the only way i’ve been able to describe it to my closest friends… and I haven’t been able to write about it yet, but I don’t want to forget it… so please enjoy this very rough attempt…
About two weeks ago on Shabbat (Saturday), I decided to visit a Messianic Synagogue here in Knoxville. Since i’ve been reading Torah and then studying the old testament books, I have learned a lot about Judaism and Jewish culture on my own. The Old testament moves me. The law brings me to tears. The tender way that Hashem (G-d) leads His people to Himself through the law… and then explains that it’s not even about what you do so much as to what lies in your heart- why you do it… It’s overwhelming.
There are people throughout history that get this. One of my favorite is King Josiah. He became King when He was 8 years old and followed the Lord as David did. 2 Kings 22 explains that Hilkiah, the High Priest, found the Book of the Law of Moses in the temple and brought it to King Josiah. When the Book was read in front of the king, King Josiah tore his clothes.
Every time I read that verse, it shames me and shakes me. I look around at our evangelical nice, comfortable lives in our nice, comfortable pews and I want to weep. I want to weep because we hear, study, read, and talk about the law and the Word weekly and sometimes even at home too… and we’re not torn. We’re not grieving. Our hearts aren’t moved. We just… sit and do our duty for the week and go home.
I want to be moved like the people in the Bible. I want to be moved like the jews in the Old testament…. or even the jews now! I want to stand for hours and hear the Law and love it. I want to be like David said “Oh Lord, I meditate on your precepts! I think about your Law! Your law is better than life!…” I want to embrace it and love it and cherish it and worship Him with my obedience of it.
So when I entered the synagogue on Shabbat, it felt like coming home.
I entered and sat in the very back pew behind some women. I assumed that men and women would sit separately and worship separately so when a man and his wife sat by me, I was taken back. As the music started and people filled the sanctuary, they took out their Tallits and draped them around their shoulders. Old men sat on a bench behind me against the wall with their canes and their Kippahs. Old jewish souls with smiles like fire.
We stood together. We blessed the music and worship. The sound of Hebrew and English mingled together and the captions on the screen read all- Hebrew- English. Voices of languages lifted together. I wanted to sign the words.
This is what heaven will be like.
Then the music started and the music switched from English to Hebrew and back to English. My eyes watered, my lip quivered. The lady beside me took my hands in hers and her eyes said “Come, worship with me”. With tears flowing down my face as I followed her flowing, beautiful skirt in the sunshine, she led me to the alter before Him and as we arrived there I looked around to see other women getting out of their seats and joining us. Their faces shined. They linked their hands together and as a team of women, we danced.
We danced for Him. We sang His name, I looked around at smiles and teary eyes as I followed the moves He had put on the woman’s heart. We followed her as she followed Him. This wasn’t wild or chaotic. It was soft and gentle and calm. It was heart-dancing.
And His name rang out from our hearts, to our limbs as we reached to the sky, “YESHUA! ELOHIM! ADONAI! The music roared, and together we lifted our hands to the heavens to Him and turned in circles on our toes to please the King. We landed on our feet and bowed deeply from the waist up, from our hearts. Bowed knees. Bowed hearts, Bowed faces. Tears.
I looked around at the congregation and men blew their shofars. They blew their shofars and clapped for Him. Elohim. Men blowing Shofar, women dancing, tears flowing. Hearts bowing.
Yeshua! Yeshua! Yeshua!
We sang the Shema!
They sang it. In Hebrew. We faced Jerusalem, they pointed the edge of their tallits to Jerusalem and they sang, Hebrew words, Shema together.
We faced the screen for us English speakers and said it in English.
Hear, Oh Yisrael! The L-rd is Our G-d! The L-rd is ONE!… And you shall love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might. And these words I shall command you today shall be in your heart.
My heart jumped. Because they’re on my heart! They’re written on my heart… a heart that deserves hell- and the law is written there- the mercy.
And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
my lip quivered. I looked at the couple in front of me, clasping their hands together, their tallits around each of their shoulders, the man with is Kippah, the woman with her tears…
… and you shall write them on the door post of your house and on your gates…
A tear slipped down my face as I remember the mezuzah that I had blessed with a kiss on my hand while on the way in– His law written on the door posts. My heart bowed low…. Oh Lord, even the dogs eat crumbs from the master’s table..(Matthew 15:27).
It felt like coming home.
The dancing to El Shaddai, the singing of His name… TO His name, the blessing of His word, the following HIs law… Then the singing of Yeshua (Jesus)… The realization that He is my new law because He has been written on my heart. He has been bound between the frontlets of my eyes inside of my brain. He has seared me. I am marked by a changed life and I have been crucified with Him. He has wrecked me. For me, He is my Tefillin. He is my everything!
Yeshua, Yeshua, Yeshua!
I wanted to shout it. His name echoed from the mouths of old Jewish believers and into the heart of a gentile girl.
I will never get over this.
They read the law from the Torah. The men went and got these HUGE torah scrolls after we said the blessing of the Torah… And they got it, they blessed it again and the walked it around the room while each person kissed their hand and touched the Torah with a blessing.
Lord, thank you for communicating the Word to us, Was the only blessing I could think to say.
They unrolled this huge Torah and I went up close to look as we were invited. The Torah Reader had a Yad (Torah Pointer) in his hand because the Torah cannot be touched. And the men gathered around and the women gathered around and they hugged toward the Torah to just look at is as the hand-written hebrew words were read out loud from large sheepskin scrolls.
I get chills every time I think about hearing His word in Hebrew from hand-written sheepskin scrolls.
i hurried to stand in my place in the back and not be up front with the crowd during Torah reading. It was too sacred to be near. So I stood from the back and observed- an observer watching the most sacred snow globe in the world.
We read the Torah, then we had a preacher come preach from both the New Testament and the Old Testament- Torah. Because Rabbi was in Israel. Can you believe it? We were here in the states and Rabbi was in Israel. So we had a preacher. A humble preacher come to preach His word on Shabbat.
I don’t remember much of what he said but I do remember that he preached from Ezekiel 37 and he preached from the new testament and talked about how we have hope even in dark times… Because of Yeshua.
Then we did communion. We did communion with Matza passed around and grape juice poured. We shared the same Matza, We shared the same juice.This is My body. This is My blood. Do this to remember.
Oh, Yeshua. I will forget and then I will fight to remember. Help me remember.
I can’t get over His name. I want to say it a million times. I want to love it even when I don’t love it. Even in my wickedness.
I yearn to look into the eyes of Yeshua and scream YESHUA! Messiah! I long to take the hem of his robe and hold it to my face.
I can’t ever forget.