New Year Musing, by Paula Rose Michelson

Throughout our life we are taught, questioned and confronted on all sides. Those in the world say, "Do not think, just follow along and be happy like everyone else is." Those of various ideologies swear that following their belief is the only way. And what do we hear from those who love Messiah? Are we encouraged to have a personal relationship with God through his son? Or are we asked to conform to one denomination and is so doing so we lose sight of our Kinsman Redeemer and all he accomplished?

In Mathew 4:4 Yeshua (Jesus) tells us, "It is written: 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but in every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

I had been told that my husband and I should not partner with the Lutheran Church because Luther was Anti-Semitic. Yet it was a Lutheran Pastor who contacted my husband and me once he heard of our work. Together we have reached out with the message of the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus the Christ) and together we have rejoiced at the ingathering.

Similarly within each person, each church and congregation, each state, and our nation are the seeds of unity and division. In Mathew 7:19-21 we read. Every tree that does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will  be recognized. 

So my musing today is about the fruit we have used wisely, and the fruit that nourished no one. What I am suggesting is that we begin our spiritual New Year by examining ourselves, or better yet, by asking God to examine us: our actions, and reactions. Are we motivated out of love for one and other? Do we build each other up, or try to pull each other down? Are we especially nice to those who can help us, or do we behave as Messiah taught and treat everyone with the dignity they deserve?

If you wonder why I ask you to do this kind of reflective work, it is because I believe if all who profess Messiah walked as close to him as his Word tells us we should, our nation would not be in the fix it is in. I'm not blaming anyone more than I blame myself. Yet, if we want to correct the course we are on, to regain what many call American Exceptionalism, then we must once again become exceptional by admitting where we erred so we can return to the principals our forefathers clung to because those ideas so well articulated within our founding documents are what made this nation great, do away with them and we are less than.

In the New Year when so much seems amiss let us remember Psalm 121:1-3 I lift up my yes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slipHe who watches over you will not slumber... 

I pray that God will find us faithful with all he has gifted to us individually, and as a nation.
Until we meet again, may Messiah grant you his Shalom!
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