The high holy days are a great opportunity for us to explore new depths of intimacy with God and with our own self-identity as a messianic Jewish community. The liturgy of the services provide a marvelous doorway into this exploration and discovery. When we say the prayers found in the Machzor – the prayerbook for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, we move beyond our own thoughts and our own feelings. We recite words that bring to mind the holiness and love and faithfulness of God in ways that we could never properly articulate. They move us forward in our understanding of God and in our ability to worship him. We are often used to coming to a service with the expectation that the goal is for God to come to us and to meet our needs. But if we come with the expectation that I am the one approaching God and not the other way around, then the liturgy moves us beyond our own thoughts and words. When we say the words on the page slowly and with meaning and intention, they help us to enter the presence of God in a magnificent way that can be life changing and cause us to be grow in our relationship with him. As A.J. Heshcel wrote in refrence to the liturgy.. “These words are like mountain peaks pointing to the unfathomable.” (Man’s Quest For God p.33) The texts and traditions of our people coupled with the indwelling presence of Yeshua cultivates a rich spiritual journey through this season!
The liturgy, the texts and prayers of our people, also allow us to engage in conversation with the rest of the Jewish community. In a sense we pray as a community with one voice. Some would say that because of Yeshua we are not jewish. I would contend that indeed we are…we are a community of Jewish people…and people of different backgrounds who identify with the god of Israel and we worship using Jewish worship styles =, texts and traditions. Like many synagogues we are creative in our worship. We believe that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel which by its very nature causes us to be a bit different but we are tied to the rest of the Jewish community in our values, peoplehood and expression. My the observance of Rosh Hashanah be a rich spiritual journey and may you all have a happy and healthy New Year!