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Showing posts from May, 2013

Caught in adultery

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York Mystery Plays 2012 - Dress Rehearsal 01.08.2012 -64, a photo by alh1 on Flickr. So much is in the news about gay marriage. And about pedophiles and sex scandals. The scene that follows may bother you. I hope it helps you.

Shame. Embarrassment. Horror. Shock. These feelings flooded a woman in the time of Y'shua. Her world was crashing around her as a gang of men crashed into her house at the very moment she was 'with a man' who was not her husband. We know few details, but we know certain ones. And what we know is that her life as she knew it was over.

This took place in Israel about 2,000 years ago and the men who caught her were keen to smear her already suspicious reputation. They also caught a man, who never features in this sting operation scene.
They dragged her through the neighborhood and tossed her at the feet of the new Messiah candidate, Y'shua of Nazareth. What would he say should be done?

I hate the way these guys treated her. I hate the fear and the sham…

Idolatry

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Idolater 2, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. It's shabbat. I'm not supposed to be thinking about sins. I'm supposed to be pondering the Creation and the Creator. I'm supposed to be contemplating the mercies of the Almighty in redeeming the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. But sins are ever a problem for me and not only mine. I think about sin and its consequences often, and more often of late.

This woman sitting almost dead centre in the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple in Singapore is pouring libations to the gods. I'm guessing that most people who see this photo will consider her to be a good woman. A sincere woman. And that her activity to the gods will be rewarded in some fashion, or at least not harmful at all. She's not hurting anyone, right? And her religion, that in which she was raised, teaches her to do this, so she's a religious devotee and thus will be doubly rewarded.

But the God of the Bible is ever wanting our good, for His sake, and what this id…

Shavuot and Pentecost... some linkages.. a sermon

Christ in the Feast of Pentecost: The Spirit and the Word give life Based on texts from Exodus 32 and Acts 2
A sermon by Bob Mendelsohn Given at Hobart City Church of Christ 19 May 2013
GreetingsThanks to the pastor Marshall and all those who have been and will be involved in my being here this weekend. I’m ever grateful for Hobart City Church of Christ for your love for the Jewish people and desire to share Y’shua with them. As you might know, on Argyle Street the synagogue is the longest-continuing Jewish synagogue in the Southern Hemisphere. And we can help reach them. I hope you will fill out the white card you received this morning, sometime while I’m speaking, and we will collect those with an offering later on in the service. Let me continue with my message after prayer. Prayer IntroductionBeaconsfield 2006. Trapped miners and a worried public. Christchurch 2011. Devastation. Earthquake. And tremors that continued. I saw the city last year and it’s still unbuilt from the ruin. Months lat…

Mother's Day 2013

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She didn't know what to do, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. I shot this photo in November in Israel, fascinated by the 'hands full' nature of motherhood anywhere, but certainly in the middle of Tel Aviv. And today is a big day for mothers everywhere, as the universal holiday of "Mother's Day" is celebrated and at least noticed across the planet.

Not everyone's mother is still alive and in this blended-family world not everyone even knows their birth or adopted mother. Some have two mothers. Some have none. I get that.

The Jewish religion after the time of Messiah Jesus has made the lineage of the child, the actual genealogical tribal linkage, to be maternal, that is, from the mother. So if your mother is Jewish, then you are. That's what they taught me in synagogue, although both of my parents were Jewish, so my lineage was never in doubt.

I don't think that's the way it was in Judaism before Jesus, but that's the general rule today.

At least …

Pentecost Artwork

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Pentecost Artwork, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. Joseph Ignaz Mildorfer painted this version of Pentecost around 1750. He was Swiss but this painting is now in Budapest at the Hungarian National Gallery.

That makes sense to me. A Jewish event, begun in the days of Moses, about 1500 BCE, takes on universal significance as the Ruach Hakodesh falls on 120 Jews in an upper room in Jerusalem a few weeks after the death of Y'shua, the Messiah. As a result, about 3,000 Jewish people find eternal life in repenting and receiving Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

And the message spread from one country to another, from one language group to another. Even Swiss and Hungarian folks. And American Jews like me. Sweet.

The anointing of the Holy Spirit fell on Y'shua as a dove, but on us, who are not so clean, He fell as flames of fire, to cleanse us. And those flames carry us on in passion and zeal to proclaim His majesty and love.

Next week we will celebrate Shavuot (Pentecost) in both Jew…

But I'm part of the family!

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Alicia's muddy foot, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr. We Jewish people are part of God's family. It started with Abraham, the first Jew, back about 2,000 BCE. He was called the 'friend of God' and walked with the Almighty. His son Isaac, not his servant Eliezer, would be the one who continued the godly line, later titled "The Jewish people." The people are family-based. No wonder we care to keep family and family relationships so close to our hearts.

Last week, my neighbor and her daughter were outside and the daughter, about 9 years old, was playing in the mud. In fact, the other neighbors had their sprinkler system going and Alicia found the water/mud-making-machine too tempting. She kept putting her feet in and coming out with laughter and glee as her feet were mudified.

Imagine with me, if her mother were upstairs, cooking dinner at the time. And the mother was busy with so many things, had cleaned the house earlier that day, and was on to final preparations …