Shalom Mishpacha!As I sit in my warm house on the last day of 2018 watching the snow fall and the temperature drop, I am thankful for all that our Lord has done in the last 12 months! Not all has been easy, as many of you can attest, but I have a confidence and assurance in His goodness and faithfulness that He will complete what He has begun, in me, my family, and your lives as well as Or Chaim in the upcoming year!
Every year we ask the Father for a theme that will lead us as a congregation in the next year. The other day as we were discussing the Torah portion of the week, Shemot, we explored the calling of Moses from the burning bush. “Hineni”, or as is often translated, “Here am I”, was his response. What revelation came to us as we looked at that word! It’s not just a casual “hey, I’m over here” kind of response but a desire in Moses to actually go over and explore this phenomenon in the desert, and respond and say “I am willing and available to respond to extraordinary things and participate with the “I am” God to see greater things take place!” The prophet Isaiah responded in a similar way when he saw The Lord “sitting on a throne, high and lifted up” in the temple. He not only said “Hineni”, he said “SEND ME”. Many other examples throughout scripture where ordinary, weak, flawed, stubborn and quite dysfunctional people said YES to God and did incredible things! When we respond to Him with HINENI, it isn’t about your wonderful abilities and gifts, it’s about Him enabling you to do great things because you said “I’m here, use me!” As a matter of fact, He can use you in spite of your abilities and gifts, because in that way He gets all the praise and glory!
As I shared last Shabbat about a recent dream, I heard the words “come and I will show you the Bride”. We will see God work in us to do a major “makeover”, as He prepares us for His return. Remember, He is coming back for a spotless bride! He will speak to us and probably say something we will find impossible to do in our own strength. But, as Moses and Isaiah, David, Peter, and so many others declared in various ways, Hineni, so this should be our response in this coming 2019! In this upcoming year, Father wants our availability and willingness and He will give us the ability and provision and strength. The “BRIDE” will look very different this time next year as we respond with “Hineni, send me!”
Millie and I, as well as the wonderful leadership team of Or Chaim want to wish all of you an incredibly blessed 2019! Our prayer for you and your families is that this would be a year of “HINENI”, where our response will lead to BREAKTHROUGH, FULFILLMENT AND FRUITFULNESS!
This will require us to “make space” for more of His Presence. Dr. Henry Cloud uses the term “Necessary Endings”, in other words removing unwanted things from our lives so that we can make ourselves more available to the King of Kings, to do His purposes! HINENI IN 2019
Shalom and Blessing,
Stewart and Millie