Archive for March 7th, 2008

From here:

I remember going to a worship service, one of the most powerful services I’ve ever attended. There were thousands of Christians from all over the Middle East gathered just before Easter. We sang “Amazing Grace” in Arabic. We said the Lord’s Prayer together in all kinds of different tongues. Then the bishops read a statement addressed to Muslims, which read: “We believe that you are created in the image of God and we love you.” It was pregnant with hope. Afterward I confessed to one of the bishops that I was surprised to see so many Christians in Iraq. He looked at me blankly and said gently, “Yes, my friend. This is where Christianity began. You did not invent it in America. You have only domesticated it. Go back and tell the church in America that we are praying for them … to be the body of Christ, to embody the gospel of Jesus.” His words still echo in my soul.

May we remember this Easter season — that it may be Friday, but Sunday is coming. Death may be all around us, but in the end resurrection triumphs. Another little one clinging to Jesus.

If that’s heresy, then sign me up.

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Replica of First Century Galilee Boat

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus as Rabbi:
Part 1: What is a Rabbi?
Part 2: Was Jesus a Rabbi?
Part 3: Jesus’ Miracles
Part 4: Jesus and other Rabbis
Part 5: Jesus and the Pharisees
Part 6: Bringing up Disciples

In this set of articles in this series, we are exploring the relationship between the rabbi and his disciples. In this article we will examine the key characteristic which distinguishes one authoritative (s’mikah) rabbi from another, that is, his yoke.

In Judiasm, there are 613 commands, mitzvot, given by God in the Torah. As a result of the variety of real life, there were often times where one or more of these commands might come into apparent conflict with other commands.

For instance, on the Sabbath, which was required to be kept holy, what if an animal fell into a pit? Getting it out would require work (violating Sabbath), but to leave it in the pit would be cruel (in violation of the commands against cruelty to animals). In such a case, which was the greater (heavier) command and which was the lesser (lighter) command?

The yoke of a rabbi would help his talmidim to determine how to interpret Torah correctly, so as to best hear and obey God in everyday situations where one command/principal might conflict with another.

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