The last 36 hours have been such an incredible blessing of fun, fellowship, worship, dancing and digging in the Word!! Truly special! Let me tell you about it!
Every Shabbat that is a fifth Shabbat (i.e., 5th Saturday on the Julian calendar) we host several home fellowships together to help maintain our connection since we mostly sprang from an original small gathering. Yesterday was one such day that we began planning weeks ago. So, here’s the story….
While sitting at the dinner table several weeks ago, I offered that we had a 5th Shabbat coming up and I was pondering inviting our good friends, Tommy and Dorothy Wilson of Adat Shalom, to come teach. The boys immediately responded with excitement because Tommy and Dorothy have been here multiple times and are favorite guests. So, I texted from the dinner table and invited them to “Rambo Bed and Breakfast” and received an immediate affirmative response. Before we left the dinner table, we had made plans for several ‘spruce up’ projects as well as the addition of a fire pit for fellowship…
The results exceeded my expectations and lent themselves to a wonderful ambiance all weekend!
We repainted the guest bedroom and the hall, built the fire pit and hung exterior lighting while praying for nice weather, knowing the house would not easily contain the size crowd we were expecting.
During the multiple projects, I received a call one evening from Dean and Julie Cornwell, also of Adat Shalom in Summerville, SC. He had something he wanted to bring me and since his work schedule allowed, I offered the they come the and stay the same weekend as Tommy and Dorothy. Without hesitation, he took me up on the offer. Now, we had a house full scheduled!! The pressure was on, but what joy preparing for so many dear friends!
Preparations came together nicely and as we waited expectantly Friday evening for our guests, we lit the lights and the fire pit. Then, they arrived.
We began Shabbat in the kitchen with the Shema and blessings of the challah and wine, then served our plates and moved outside under the pecan trees for a magical dinner.
Dorothy is a terrific dance teacher and leader. Knowing that, I expressed my desire in the original invitation to learn to dance, so after relaxing around the fire pit for a bit, we cranked up the music and lessons began. Seriously, all ten of us danced until almost midnight. I was sore in the morning! We laughed and worshipped! So fun!
And, that was just the beginning!
We had a slow start on Shabbat, just lazing around the house until about 12:30 when we began to make sure all was ready for the 60-80 people we expected. The first arrival was at 1:30 and in typical fashion, most began arriving about 2:15 for the scheduled 2 pm start… LOL!
We opened with the Shema, prayer and the Kibbutz Galiyot, then sang and danced! Dorothy and Tommy led a discussion of the Torah portion focusing on Genesis 18 and Abraham’s doing of charity and righteousness (18:19). We compared this to the sin of Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49) and the seven things Yehovah hates (Proverbs 6:16ff). Ultimately, it was a discussion about how we need to be walking in obedience to Torah and seeking ways to meet the needs of the those around us. We finished with the Kaddish and the Aaronic Blessing before digging in to the sumptuous covered dish table.
Folks gathered around the fire pit, children burning kosher marshmallows and adults chatting, while the music was cranked back up and we began dancing again….
Even as guests drifted out, the fun and worship continued until almost 10 p.m. when the last few hangers-on were laid out on the benches around the fire.
(Video of parts of yesterday will be up tomorrow…)
This morning the laughter has continued in the afterglow of such a fun day. It is raining and a couple of my boys cornered the visiting men into a game of Monopoly…
And, most importantly, we are planning a National Shabbat in South Carolina the first or second weekend of December!! Watch for details.
There is no way to express or relate the incredible closeness and fellowship in the Messianic. This is such a joyous walk that I so want others to find and enjoy… In Abba’s timing…
I would encourage others to make the effort to fellowship outside of your normal clique or congregation. Build bridges and make relationships with other Messianics and fellowships even if there is some divergence of understanding of Scripture. Stay away from doctrinal divisions and simply get to know each other and worship the King!! Let Him, by His Ruach, work out the differences (though, I maintain that some differences are healthy and He revels in our diversity).
Absolutely Beautiful. I have often said that you don’t really begin to know someone until you spend some time in each other’s homes. This brings me to think about “hospitality” and Acts 15. First, if you aren’t practicing hospitality, you need to re-check your salvation. Second, if you allow me to paraphrase Acts 15, I see that the new believers are given some guidelines to live by … to start! This would allow them to be in each others homes … able to eat (clean) together … without the concern as to whether they are chasing after our wives, sons or daughters in an inappropriate way. Then, they can learn the rest of Torah. Sometimes better caught than taught … in other words, they can see it being lived out. Does that make sense? Shalom to your hearts and homes, Tom
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Sounds like a wonderful time of fellowship!! Awesome!!
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It really was. Had a great time.
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Wow! Wish we would have been there! My grandchildren would love this! It is difficult in this walk in a small town for little ones….looking forward to December 5 th!
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