The Star is Born
by AuthorName, AuthorTitle, AuthorMinistry
During the Hanukah vacation, it has become a tradition for Israeli school children to attend special productions starring children's television personalities. This year the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel (MJAI) sponsored an alternative for Messianic children by producing the musical, The Star is Born. A take-off on the popular TV talent competition, this all-star production centered on THE "Star" born locally in Bethlehem!
The script, songs and choreography were all composed by local Messianic believers. Over 80 people took part in the production, on and off stage. The combination of adult and child actors added warmth to the evening and made it a true family affair. One highlight was the scene in which Simeon encounters the baby Yeshua and announces that he has fulfilled his life calling. Simeon was played by renowned Messianic musician, David Loden - in some ways a modern day Simeon - whose performance moved the audience to tears.
Approximately 1,500 people attended this gala performance at Kibbutz Brenner, believers and non-believers alike. The musical was professionally filmed by a five-camera crew and a CD will be available for those who wish to watch the performance at home. Special thanks go to Dina and Yulia who directed the entire production.
The Israeli Alliance provides services and organizes events for all streams of the Body of Messiah in Israel. Its goals are "to express our identity as Jewish and Israeli believers, strengthen the unity and bond between believers and be a living testimony to our faith in Yeshua the Messiah." Perhaps more than any other organization, the Alliance serves to unify the Body at large in Israel.
Another event sponsored by the MJAI is the annual Shavuot picnic at Yad Hashmona. It is probably the most widely attended gathering among Messianic Jews. Almost a "tradition" in the Messianic community, this event provides an opportunity for believers from around the country to come together to celebrate Shavuot, offering first fruits to the Lord in prayer and music while "breaking bread" and fellowshipping together in nature.
Another important event is the bi-annual music competition in which Messianic musicians present original music at a national seminar for composers and worship leaders. In the alternate year, the best of those worship songs are performed as a national praise concert. From the concerts, professionally recorded DVD-CD albums are produced and widely used in local Israeli congregations. These recordings are an invaluable tool for spreading new Israeli-style worship throughout Israel and around the world.1
In addition, the MJAI manages several monetary funds geared towards helping the needy, providing study scholarships, assisting in small business loans, and contributing to local works such as camps and seminars. The funds are distributed in participation with local congregations.
The MJAI has also managed two email networks for pastors and leaders over the past decade as a platform for leaders to share information on relevant topics, in the hope that increased communication will build long term unity. These networks keep the Messianic community in Israel informed and involved in inter-congregational events. They have also become a forum for leaders to discuss difficult spiritual, social and moral issues affecting the Body at large.
Hanan Lukatz is the executive director of the MJAI. We honor him here for the many years of diligent and dedicated work he has invested in the Israeli Alliance. Asher has served on the board of the MJAI for 18 years, since its legal incorporation in Israel. There are six other local pastors on the board, representing a very balanced spectrum of the Body of Messiah in the Land.
Please pray that the fruits of this servant organization will continue to build and strengthen the Messianic community in Israel while reflecting the "Star" born in Bethlehem and providing light to the world!
1 These and other CDs are available for purchase on the MJAI website: http://www.mjai.co.il/products-for-sale.html.
The Star is Born
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel
In Genesis, chapters 12 to 22, the phrase "Lech Lecha" is found twice, once at the beginning and once at the end. "Lech Lecha" is a play on words that can mean either "go you" or "go, go". It is used to emphasize the personal sacrifice of going somewhere to obey God.
In the first instance Abraham, the first "believer", is given his first commandment, which is to move his home and family to the land of Canaan.
"Go you from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house to the land which I will show you." (Genesis 12:1)
This mandate to possess the land can be traced to the creation of Adam and Eve in which God commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, and to take dominion over the planet which God created. Abraham's journey to Canaan is the beginning of the restoration of the original dominion mandate.
In the second instance God tells Abraham to sacrifice his only beloved son on Mount Moriah. This is the greatest sacrifice that anyone could make.
"Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac and go you to the land of Moriah and offer him there as burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you." (Genesis 22:2)
These two events have extraordinary importance throughout Scriptures. They lay two major foundations for the entire plan of God. They are parallel yet different.
Abraham's offering his son as a sacrifice laid the covenantal foundation of atonement by substitution. It was a legal precedent for God to offer His Son as a sacrifice for our sin. Through Yeshua the sins of mankind are forgiven all the way back to those of Adam and Eve.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they also yielded their authority over planet earth to Satan. Therefore Yeshua will also come again to take possession of planet earth away from Satan and return it to mankind under God's rulership.
As the binding of Isaac laid the covenant foundation for Yeshua's sacrifice, so does Abraham's possessing the land by faith 'stake a claim' for Yeshua to return and repossess the whole planet. As with Abraham, Yeshua also has two "Lech Lecha's" - one for forgiveness of sin and the other for repossessing planet earth.
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