One thing I love about the cycle of the Jewish calendar is that it offers so many opportunities for introspection and recommitment to what is important. G-d constantly calls us to teshuvah – to return to his ways and his word. At Passover, as we clean the chametz from our houses, we examine our hearts for the sins we may have tucked away in the corners of our hearts. During the season of the High Holidays, each individual and community is focused on evaluating the past year, making amends to those we have wronged, and purposing to start a new year on the right foot. These are just two examples, but you can find aspects of a call to examine ourselves and get back on the right path throughout each holiday.
As we find ourselves as strangers in a strange land – living in the diaspora – we exist in two worlds. For this reason, the calendar year brings with it a call to realign our lives and prioritize goals. As Messianic believers, our first priority is G-d. My wonderful husband likes to tell our congregants that reading your Bible is the best way to get to know G-d. You can’t have a successful relationship with him unless you spend time learning about him – just like you can’t have a successful marriage or friendship without spending time with the other person to learn about them and how they react and interact with you and the world.
I spent some of my adolescent years in church and I remember the kids song that had a line: “Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.” It’s so true! However, in some seasons it may not be possible to find quiet moments when you can spend daily time with G-d (I’m talking to you, new moms). There is not a one size fits all formula for Bible reading, prayer time, and relationship with G-d. What works for one person won’t work for another. The time that you used to be able to spend in reading may now be just a distant memory, or vice versa. Our upcoming blogs for January will be focused on ways that you can successfully grow closer to G-d through Bible reading and study. We will be hearing from women of different ages and backgrounds sharing their insight on ways to incorporate Bible reading and prayer time into your life to give you new, fresh ideas for 2018.
We also want to provide resources for you to study the word from a Messianic-friendly perspective. In December, we launched our Neshama Box, which is a curated box of surprises related to the theme of the devotional booklet. You can find more information here and watch an unboxing video from our friend, Jenn in Toronto, to see what was in the December Neshama Box.
To help bring our community of women together, Neshama will be hosting a discussion group on Sunday, January 14th at 9pm EST. Our topic will be centered around our December devotional theme – “Dedication” – but you don’t have to have purchased the devotional to join us. It will be hosted on Google Hangouts which is a platform that will let us all see and hear from each other in real time. You can get more details on our facebook page here.
Last, but not least, we’ve also created a Messianic Jewish calendar for 2018 that includes all the Jewish holidays and fast days, US holidays, and the related scripture readings for Shabbat and the holidays. There is no handy resource that includes all this information in one place, so we made it for you! It comes in a booklet that’s large enough to give you space to use as your daily calendar, but small enough to tuck in your bag. You can purchase that in our shop and see it in the Facebook live video that I did last night.
As we head into the final Shabbat of 2017, we pray that 2018 will be a year that brings you closer to G-d and each other – the mission of Neshama!
- See what was in our December Neshama Box
- Purchase the January Neshama Box
- Get information about the online Neshama meet-up
- Purchase the 2018 Neshama calendar
- Watch the video to see and hear about all these things!