Shabbat Mevarchim

Today is Shabbat Mevarchim- “the Shabbat when we bless.” On the Sabbath before the start of a Jewish month/new moon, a blessing is recited to usher it in. Why, i mean why bother blessing the new month, before the new moon? Don’t we bless and pray every Shabbat?

Picture this: every day you wash the dishes after your meal, you wipe the counters and sweep the floor. But, on the first of the month you clean the whole kitchen, you scrub the counter tops, clean out the fridge and wash the floor. What does this mean to your kitchen? This prepares you for the month of cleaning. It lightens your load, it refreshes and encourages you.

People get lazy. People forget. Even good , honest, faithful people. I love the idea of blessing God for everything. In Israel there is a blessing for everything. Devout Jews even have a blessing they recite when using the bathroom. It seems burdensome or trite, but what is the alternative? Accepting Jesus and not blessing God for everything, perhaps the sinners prayer is all inclusive?  Christianity seems to have gone the other extreme, we don’t bless him for the small things and we forget to bless Him for big things-  for the rotation of the earth, the phases of the moon, and the sun rising, and what they mean escapes us as well. We forget that life exists because of God. He sustains everything. We know it but,  we don’t acknowledge it in cycles, in rhythm in order to mark his works around us. We have separated everyday living from faith. The Jewish people,  have married the two, heaven and earth. I want to do that. That is the essence of holy days, appointed times and Christ incarnate. There is nothing more Christ-like than bringing Him into the bathroom, or blessing the new month. in doing so, we acknowledge his work, power, and mercy at every corner, which reminds us that he is at every corner.

Each week the sabbath is honored. We honor the sabbath because it’s a command, we honor the sabbath because God rested on that day, we honor the sabbath in order to connect with God, for it was He who established and ordained the Sabbath, and it is the first of his appointed times. (Leviticus 23). I like to think of the Sabbath as a moment when we cross paths with God. It’s a reminder of the day when he passed the torch to mankind, and i picture him saying, “OK now your work begins.” and that one day, on which he passes the torch to us, our hands touch, our eyes meet, our ears perk up to listen, we are fully engaged in God-in this moment, he gives and we receive. This happens every week, it is a sign that we belong to him.  On Sabbath morning, after reading the Torah portion,consider the following blessing which is recited all over the world by Torah observant Jews on Shabbat Mevarchim.

May He who performed miracles for our fathers and redeemed them from slavery to freedom, speedily redeem us and gather our dispersed people from the four corners of the earth, uniting all of Israel, and let us say, Amen.
Rosh Chodesh kislev will be on Thursday, which comes to us for good.
May the Holy One, blessed be He, renew it for us and for all His people, the house of Israel, for life and peace (Amen), for gladness and for joy (Amen), for deliverance and for consolation, and let us say, Amen.
yehi ratzon “May it be Your will”.

three things i love about this blessing.

1. its starting out the month right, by blessing God and acknowledging His works , power, mercy and salvation.

2. its really a prayer, petitioning God Most High to do what he said he will do, ‘gather the dispersed from the four corners of the earth and restore all Israel.’ (so we are praying in agreement with His will)

3. when we say this beautiful blessing we are asking God, Most High to bless us!

Imagine a chorus of blessing ascending to the ears of God, at the same time , on the same day! Talk of praying with one mind. This symphony of voices reminds me of Jericho, when God commanded the people to SHOUT the walls down. The frequency and sound waves of their voices, in one accord, brought those walls down.  Can you even imagine what the vibrations mingled with  faith  felt like on that day of victory?  When Jews and adopted gentiles bless and petition God together as one, we are manifesting our oneness through Messiah in Messiah.

When the men in the land of Shinar began to build the tower of babel,  they all used the same language and the same words, God’s response was:

they are one people ,they have the same language and this is what they began to do, now nothing that they purpose to do will be impossible for them.”

God confused their lips so that they could not speak to one another, because they and their actions were not pleasing to him. They stopped building and dispersed. If wicked men with evil plans can accomplish anything when they have one voice and one mind,  imagine when men in whom God is pleased begin to praise him with one voice!  What  can God do through them? Nothing will be withheld, even Messiah! Come Lord, Come!

We know that God hears us. We know that he hears because he heard the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah, he heard the groanings of Israel oppressed in Egypt. He hears from heaven when we cry, when we pray (psalm 66:2) when we worship, when we speak, (Malachi 3:16). God hears our complaints (psalm 64), our blessings, our words and when we humble ourselves, he responds (Daniel 10:12). The psalmist says,

” I love thee Lord, because he hears my voice and my supplications, because he has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon him as long as i live. Psalm 116:1-2″ is this restricted to Jewish people?

“All nations shall worship the Lord, they shall all all glorify his name” Psalm 86:4, all the nations (psalm 86:9),“It will come about from new moon to new moon that all will come and bow down and worship him” (Isaiah 66). Isaiah is speaking of the new heavens and the new earth, not the ancient, outdated ordinance, but an ordinance and prophecy yet to be fulfilled.   Jesus said to Israel, “you will not see me again until you say ” blessed art though who comes in the name of the Lord.”

So lets raise our voices from new moon to new moon and bless Him, praise him, petition him, pray his own will and purposes.  Don’t we want to see Messiah? And are we not, as Paul said, part of the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2)? We are grafted into the olive tree (Romans 11),  we are Abraham’s children,  If we believe and have been baptized into Christ, bearing His name, and the Name of His Father.  Christ came so that through his blood we could be adopted into his family, and he desires his family to be gathered up, so we can all live together as one people, who serve our one God.

May He who performed miracles for our fathers and redeemed them from slavery to freedom, speedily redeem us and gather our dispersed people from the four corners of the earth, uniting all of Israel, and let us say, Amen.
Rosh Chodesh kislev will be on Thursday, which comes to us for good.
May the Holy One, blessed be He, renew it for us and for all His people, the house of Israel, for life and peace (Amen), for gladness and for joy (Amen), for deliverance and for consolation, and let us say, Amen.
yehi ratzon “May it be Your will”.

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