Teaching Messianic Jewish Spirituality in Moscow: Day One [Part 1]

May 26, 2014

Because I am away in Moscow teaching an intensive course, I am interrupting the normal thematic flow of postings here at the Interfaithfulness blog in favor of a special series, for at least the next four days.  The picture at the head of these postings is of a "Chair of Elijah" a special chair in which the sandek, the person honored with holding a baby in his lap during a circumcision, sits. Found in the large Choral Synagogue in Moscow, this beautiful chair illustrates how precious and central to Jews is our privilege of covenantal identity. I will be seeking to deepen that identity as I teach here. Please pray for me and for those whom I am fortunate enough to call "my students," but who are sure to be my teachers.  

Today I begin teaching a course in Messianic Jewish Spirituality to 30-40 Russian speaking leaders here in Moscow. For those of you who are friends of Interfaithfulness, I will report here daily a general idea of teachings and events.

Here are some definitions for starters,

Definition of Spirituality:
Patterns of thought and action imagining, experiencing and interacting with transcendent realities so as to better align and develope our lives according to our highest and most enduring values.

Definition of MJ Spirituality:
Jewish patterns of thought and action for imagining, experiencing and interacting with the  God of Israel so as to better align and develope our lives in serving, and knowing Him "until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah." This will result in increasingly and better making him known so that other Jews will also honor and know Him in ways that preserve Israel's covenant identity, are true to Scripture, and which reflect the holy customs of our people, Israel, while hastening the fulfillment of Scripture's prophetic vision of God's future for Israel and the nations.

Our planned areas for today's teaching which will be a little short on time I am told, so this may lap over to the beginning of tomorrow too: 

  1. We will examine what makes Messianic Judaism a Judaism, and what that implies for our thought, practice, and teaching as Messianic Jewish leaders.
  2. We will examine the components of Messianic Jewish spiritualty, what they are, and how they work together, providing a a framework for understanding the nature and goals of Messianic Jewish Spirituality.—The Cube Model of Messianic Jewish Spirituality.
  3. We will examine how the New Testament justifies, supports, and even requires that Jews who believe in Yeshua live Jewish lives, that is, lives structured around Torah faithfulness and Jewish patterns of piety.
  4. We will examine why and how Messianic Jews should live an observant Jewish life, living a lifestyle that other Jews recognize as authentically Jewish.

And as for you, my dear readers, who knows, I may even explain some of the above points to you too!  Stay tuned!

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