Once upon a time, about 2,000 years ago, Shavuot, or Pentecost, was the festive season for the people of Israel to come together as one nation under God.
The multitudes made their way up to Jerusalem with baskets on their shoulders. They were met at the gates of the city with open arms, tambourines and dancing. Couches were laid out under shady trees and with the season’s harvest at hand the atmosphere of family and friends warmed the weary hearts with hope.
Their companionship was a dwelling place, a temple for the presence of God and His redemptive work among all who had gathered.
This sounds like a dream because it is the dream of anyone who dares believe that Messiah has come and has made His Spirit available since Shavuot to everyone who thirsts for God’s redemptive work on earth.
Once we have come to know the Messiah, we can never be satisfied with anything less than the authentic and loving companionship that restores us in a supportive spirit-led community. We can never look back after tasting the sweetness of meaningful relationships, lest we turn into a hardened pillar of salty bitterness.
The First Fruits of the Spirit poured out on this festival ripened into a companionship made up of crowds from different cultures, nations and politics who understood and experienced the dream in some measure.
When I say understand I mean stand under, or behind, the Messiah’s dream of unity. This is not an intellectual grasp or even an image of what the Messianic Kingdom might look like. To begin to grasp what Messiah has done, and the nature of His Spirit that can bring us to this heavenly place, means that like Him we have the courage to face the nightmarish pain and despair of this world and come through together to the other side.
Imagine, if you can, that you are a good person. Maybe even as good as you can imagine.
Suddenly, your entire social network, your family and the only people and nation you have ever known decide to betray you and then torture you and hang you on a tree because in their eyes you are no more worthy than the cruelest criminal.
That is how the Messiah woos us to follow Him and turn our faces to see the pain, betrayals, deceptions and evil of this world, and begin to understand the depths out of which of His redemption brings us. It happens when we begin to find a way to look up again out of the ashes of Auschwitz. It begins when faith is rekindled after a hundred years of innocent blood crying out from the soil of Europe that there can be hope for healing.
The Messiah and His presence in our hearts cracks open a window through despair back to Eden, and we are dumbstruck to find others who want to walk with us.
For we are living an impossible dream with a bloodied and risen Savior who leads us through the chaos of suffering to hope.
Let us go up to Zion this Shavuot together. Our LORD wants to heal our wounds and show us the way home. Let us put on the festive white robes knit together with God’s enduring love that covers a multitude of sins.
Israel Today Membership
Save 18% Per Month.
Six Months Membership
Save 9% Per Month.