A Jewish Tradition for a New Season

By Nic Lesmeister, President & CEO
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Posted in Featured ArticlesNewsletter, on November 27, 2017

Just the other day, I picked up my cell phone to see that my dad had texted me a picture. It was a shot of my parent’s back yard, covered in six inches of snow.

Immediately, two thoughts crossed my mind. The first was that I am glad I live in Texas, where snow and frigid temperatures usually stay far away. The second was that we’ve reached the period on the yearly calendar when the seasons change.

The changing of seasons have always been times of reflection for me, especially in autumn. As the leaves begin to fall, crops are harvested, and the grass begins to brown, it’s a reminder that life happens in cycles. Spring and summer, warm and cold, rainy and dry, sowing and reaping.

In a Messianic Jewish congregation, each Saturday a portion of the Torah is read in Hebrew from a traditional Torah scroll. As the reading cycle ends one book and begins another, the congregation will collectively declare an ancient Jewish tradition together three times in a row: “Chazak, Chazak, V’nitchazek!” Literally, this means “Be strong, be strong, and let us be strengthened!”

This declaration is a reminder that the changing of seasons can be times of great vulnerability and uncertainty. But by the grace and strength of God, we can encourage and remind ourselves to be full of hope and faith for the new season ahead.

The Lord reminded Joshua of this as he took over the leadership of the people of Israel, and was about to enter a new season in the Promised Land:

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NLT

As fall settles fully upon us, and a new year approaches, it is my sincere prayer that you would be strong, be strong and be very strengthened for whatever transitions taking place in your life.

We at MJBI want you to know how truly valuable you are to us. Our prayer is that we can be a blessing to you, as you so clearly have been to us. We are looking forward to a new season of ministry ahead of us with prayerful hope. I am fully confident that God will similarly bless you in whatever season you find yourself entering, as you have been such a blessing to MJBI!

May the Lord richly bless you today,

Nic Lesmeister
President & CEO

To learn more about our 2020 Vision, go to https://mjbi.org/October2017 to view a video of me sharing on it more.