Caring for Our Neighbors
Over the last couple of weeks, we have all heard about the horrendous news coming out of Israel. And there has been a lot of anxiety among the Jewish community throughout the world over threats that have been made against us...
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 125:1-2 ESV).
...Our hearts are breaking for those who have lost loved ones, those who have been injured, those who have been displaced, and those who are uncertain and anxious about the future. Many of you have likely received the letters that we have sent out encouraging you to pray for Israel, the civilians in Palestine, and the Jewish people across the world. You likely also have seen ways to donate money to people who are in need. I have been greatly encouraged by the outpouring of prayers and support that I have seen going to our Jewish neighbors and to Israel at this time of conflict and grief.
I also wanted to share something that our church has recently decided to do as a way of ministering to our Jewish neighbors. Sunday night, following the terror attack on Israel, one of the members of my congregation had some good questions for me.
She asked first, what we can do to aid our Jewish neighbors? Secondly, she asked if we could and should write letters to express our prayers and support for the Jewish people in our area. I thanked her for the suggestion and promptly typed a letter to send out (a copy of the letter, which used some information the Apple of His Eye sent out earlier in the week will be included).
I also asked members of Zion to sign the letter. And we had great enthusiasm from our people! It really warmed my heart to see the love expressed by them. In fact, a couple of individuals who were members of other congregations signed the letter too!
In times like these, it can be easy to become discouraged and to feel lost, but as I have seen the outpouring of support for the Jewish community, and as I think about words like our Psalm today, I think we can also share words of encouragement and hope.
After all, “the Lord surrounds his people.” He surrounds them by sending people to proclaim the love of Jesus, raising people to encourage and support one another, and sending us His Word, gifts, and the blessings of this life.
I would like to leave you with the Aaronic benediction in Hebrew and English:
Y'va-reh-ch'cha Adonai v'yeesh-m'reh-cha.
Ya-air Adonai pa-nahv ay-leh-cha vee-chu-neh-ka.
Yee-sa Adonai pa-nahv ay-leh-cha v'ya-same l'cha Shalom.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26 ESV).
Yours in Yeshua,
Pastor Jordan Peiser
P.S. Feel free to use and adapt the letter and have people sign it if you would like to send something similar to your local synagogues to let them know you support them and are praying with and for them.