Imagine a place where you can wear your kippah without anyone asking, “What’s that skullcap-thingy for?”
Imagine getting solid biblical teaching on topics that aren’t immediately visible to most Bible-followers. Imagine doing this all with peers that are within weeks of your own age. Sounds like the kingdom of heaven! For those who attended the recent Winter Shabbaton in Hudson, WI, we got a foretaste of the kingdom to come. People from all over the U.S. and Canada came together for an amazing time of prayer, worship, teaching, games, and good ole’ fellowship. We started out as complete strangers, most of us didn’t know more than a few people, yet by the end had formed a new brotherhood/sisterhood.
Daniel Lancaster, Toby Janicki, and Aaron Eby each brought us two lectures all dealing with various difficulties we face in this walk. From the opening session asking, “What Religion Are We Again?” and "Ten Reasons Why Messianic Judaism Is the Only True Religion," to sessions delving into topics like “Who are we? What do we do? Where did we come from? How do I tell my friends/boss/co-workers/cousins/aunts/uncles?” The list goes on. All these questions were answered thoroughly, although it is not an easy task to be prepared for all the different types of questions that will be sent our way. Some of us found out the hard way with a practical test from Toby Janicki’s second session “Explaining Messianic Judaism to Your Friends,” where he bombarded a select few (representatives from the small groups) with questions that can most certainly be expected at some point in life.
I left this event feeling much better prepared for the workforce and everyday encounters with those who question our religion or are just curious. It was also nice to be able to spend time with others who have a similar walk as myself. From a bonfire to bowling and snow-tubing, we all enjoyed spending time with our new friends and growing closer to our great God and our Messiah Yeshua.
We are working to bring the kingdom of Heaven here, for Messiah will not come until it is said: “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the LORD!” How can the world say this when they don’t know who they are welcoming? It is critical that we know how to tell others about the great hope we have.