“So then,” he explained to the gathering who enjoyed a barbeque as the sun set over Jerusalem, “we decided to take it up a level...”
“We need to live up here!” he insisted, raising his hands to heaven, “not down here on earth.” This heavenly mindset brought about the radical decision of church members to visit Jewish families in Sderot, near Gaza, who have been under constant rocket fire.
They took gifts and toys, and as they sat with one single mother, they explained, “There are Arabs who love you and want to bless you because of Jesus.” She asked, “Who are these Arabs, and where are they?” As her Arab visitor realised she had not understood who was sitting before her, he said, “I’m an Arab!” She was visibly staggered, and later went to a congregation to find out about this Jesus who could make Arabs love the Jewish people.
The evening on the Mount of Olives was a treat as we heard from one another and worshipped the Lord together, but it is not a one-off. On Shabbat, just two days later, several congregations joined together to worship the Lord on the highest point of Mount Carmel. There were Arabs, Russian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, visitors from the Far East, Sudanese refugees, native born Israelis, and more, all gathering as One New Man in the Messiah. A Jewish pastor read Psalm 133 in Hebrew: “Hine ma tov uma nayim shevet achim beyachad!” (“How good and pleasant it is, when brothers dwell in unity!”) And a pastor of an Arab congregation gave the message, calling us all to return to the days of Acts, when the believers were united and of one heart and mind, focused on Yeshua. He has worked closely with Jewish pastors before and said, “Did we always agree on everything? I don’t always agree with my wife!” But he emphasised the need for our lives to revolve around Yeshua, first and foremost, more than anything else.
Let us decide to live “Up There,” not down here, confined by the narrow expectations and patterns of this world. Even now, as the earth rages and fumes, we can choose to live in God’s radical Kingdom reality, and show the world a better way - unity through Yeshua our Messiah.
CMJ is a ministry among Jewish people that operates in eight countries, with 145 staff and 10 distinct ministries in Israel. Regular stories from the Middle East are posted on our Facebook page: CMJ World Wide. For more information, write to us using the Contact Us form.