The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance and a strength for the disciples and family of Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of God. He has chosen us to be with Him. He and the Father want love and unity between us when we sit together at the table that He has prepared for us in the presence of our oppressors.
Here in Kehilat Nachalat Yeshua we have been together for many years from many different cultures and countries. Most of us here who are citizens of Israel left the countries of our birth. We are Israelis. My heart needs to be with Israel, not with the United States, even though my family is there, and even though I care very much for the well-being of America. I was a Jew in America, and sometimes I was reminded of that in a not very nice way. Among us here are those of you from Ukraine and from Russia. Most of you were Jews there. You have family and friends and both good and bad memories there. There is war now between those two countries. Where is your heart? And even more than being Israelis, if we are believers, we are citizens of Heaven, where our heart is to be. That is where our treasure is that God has promised us. Not here; not in America; not in Russia, or in Ukraine; not in Ethiopia; not in Argentina, or Nigeria, or India. We must try to see things from a higher plane that God has given us in the Bible. (Eph 2:1-7)
Covid regulations brought division among believers around the world, even a bit here in our congregation. Thank God that He has preserved us together! Are we – and I speak especially to you from either Ukraine or from Russia – are we going to let our own mentalities to bring out hatred or other causes of division?! God forbid that we should let that be so, to be a cause of stumbling to another, including to unbelievers who are looking at us and listening!
I assume that there are real believers of Jesus fighting on both sides there. We may or may not agree that that is okay. But believers here in Israel are also in the military, and fight, if need be, when there are acts of war against the country. We will be judging the world and even angels somehow, one day. (1Cor 6:2-3) An indication of spiritual maturity is to be able to discern both good and evil now, in this age. (Heb 5:12-14) We are not going to get involved in political arguments. Putin may be right about Ukrainian history. I do not really know, and it does not really matter. He has made up a pretext for the war, and what he is doing is wrong. No country is righteous in God’s sight, not even Israel, but there is a right and a wrong between those who say that they intend to destroy you (and indiscriminately kill and destroy), from those trying to defend themselves against that. This is what we have now in the Russian war against Ukraine.
Remember when YHVH God brought the Israelis into the land of Canaan, just before they were going to capture Jericho, Joshua ben-Nun saw a Man, with a sword in His hand. Joshua asked Him if He was on their side, or on the side of the enemy. The Man said that He is not on either side, but that He is the Commander of the army of YHVH. In other words, God is on His own side, and wants us to be with Him, outside of our own camps, and not expecting Him to take “our side”. We are to worship Him. (Josh 5:13-15)
Yeshua died for each and every one of us here, and for those in Ukraine and in Russia. He loves them, and would rather that they repent and live, than that they should die without knowing Him for who He is. Let us come to the Supper with thanksgiving for His grace and mercies. God alone is righteous and holy.
Prayers and Intercessions
—1Tim 2:1-6 Pray for wisdom and courage for the leaders of Ukraine, USA, and Europe (EU and NATO), Israel, as they consider their options and make decisions; pray for their repentance unto salvation, even for Putin’s
—1Cor 12:26-27; Jn 17:20-21 pray for unity and love for the present and the future believers in Ukraine and Russia, and round-about — and in Israel and Yeshua’s Inheritance Cong.! — for the glory of God our Father and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. GOD’S WILL BE DONE, NOT WHAT WE MIGHT THINK OR FEEL!
—Jer 16:14-16 for many Jews in the nations to immigrate to Israel and be in their own land among their own people; pray for family and friends in Ukraine and in Russia, and that they look to the God of Heaven and Earth for help in this time of trouble
—Rom 11:25-36 for many Gentiles to be saved, and for many Jews, in God’s wisdom and mercies
—Rom 13:10-14 for believers to wake up to the times in which we live, and to live in a manner pleasing to God; not for us to run ahead of the Spirit, nor to lag behind, nor to jump to conclusions that do not satisfy what is actually written regarding prophecies of things to come
To adapt Paul’s words of Galatians 3:28, there is neither Ukrainian nor Russian for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua. Thank you Howard for this timely reminder.