Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Thursday: The Elements

This past Holy Week I attended a Passover Seder put on by a Messianic congregation. It was amazing! I learned soooo much. These are just some of the random things I've been thinking about....

Above is a Passover Seder plate. Note the egg (beitzah) in the 10 o'clock position.

From Ask place an egg on the Seder Plate to commemorate the Chagiga sacrifice (holiday offering,) which was offered in the Holy Temple on the 14th of Nissan, and eaten during the Seder, along with the Paschal Offering...In addition to its role on the Seder plate the egg serves another purpose at the Seder. Before the beginning of Shluchan Oreich, the meal part of the Seder, we eat the egg...because an egg also represents our mourning of the destruction of the Holy Temple...The egg is eaten as an appetizer before the meal...and is traditionally dipped into salt water before being eaten.

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

Matzah - Unleavened bread. The Passover Seder is part of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Matzah looks a lot like a cracker. It has holes & stripes. Three matzah are set apart on the seder table. The middle matzah, which symbolizes the Paschal Lamb (or Isaac), is called the afrikomen (that which is coming). It is broken and hidden until the end of the meal. After the meal, the afrikomen is found and passed around the table and all participants break off a piece. After saying the blessing over the bread, it is consumed.

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

The blessing over the cup is recited and the third cup wine in the seder is consumed. This third cup of wine is known as the "cup of blessing" or "cup of redemption".

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Attacks on Catholic Christians. Sad & Sadder.

Last weekend: --A fire is started under a 75-year-old man's statue of Jesus in his backyard prayer garden in St. Paul. --In Lakeville, a man walks into a church during mass and pours urine on the altar and Book of Gospels. I'm not accustomed to this type of overt, threatening, physical persecution and I don't want to be. This shouldn't be run-of-the-mill stuff in the Upper Midwest. It is sad that these atrocities took place. And sadder how unconcerned secular society is.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Counterfeit Christianity!!

The very same week I published the example of Counterfeit Christianity from Family Time Radio, I received an Anointed Unusual Bible Faith Church Prayer Rug from St. Matthews Churches. This scam is well-documented on the Internet. The "rug" is a piece of paper about the size and weight of a paper place mat. I'm suppose to kneel on it and pray for something I need then send it back to the church along with a letter telling them my name and address and asking them to pray for me. Will they pray for me? I don't know. Will they prey on me? Definitely.

There are five pieces in the envelope - an instructional letter, the prayer rug, a special prophecy, success stories, and a return envelope. The only Gospel message is on the back of the prophecy sheet. It says, "Due to Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection, we all who are redeemed can gain eternal life. Christ died on the cross for our sins (St. John 3:16)." What I find most disturbing about the mailing is the trinket I'll receive if I return the letter and rug with my prayer request: a Deuteronomy 8:18 Prosperity Cross. (Deut. 8:18: "You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.")

The "prosperity" found through the cross is NOT worldly wealth. I would say the prosperity of the cross is defined in Colossians 1:19-20: "For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross."

Or in 1 Peter 2:24: "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."

Yes, pray for what you need. Yes, ask fellow believers to pray for you. But, no, don't get caught-up in prosperity gospel scams. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)