I have always been intrigued by the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. When I was around five years old, I remember my dad calling me into his room. Thinking I had done something wrong, I was surprised when he started talking about the importance of recognizing and respecting the Jewish roots of our faith. Yes, as a kindergartener, my dad shared with me the Biblical truth that God has a special affinity for the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and that according to Genesis 12, God promises to bless those who bless them and to curse those who curse them. Given this plain promise in the first book of the Bible, I could never understand or accept Christians who were also anti-semites. More than thirty-five years after that conversation with my dad, when I was trying to understand the direction for my life after leaving the practice of law, I began to worship at a Messianic Jewish church in Washington, DC. It was there that I had my first encounter with a prophet; well, prophetess! My life has never been the same since that encounter. From that moment on, I decided to dig deep into the Scriptures to understand the connections between Christianity and Judaism.
My understanding of the Jewishness of Christianity has grown. And the knowledge came to life when I visited Israel for the first time this year as I celebrated my 50th birthday. After visiting many holy sites over ten days, enjoying a Shabbat meal with a Jewish family in Jerusalem, and touring the borders with Lebanon, Syria, and in Gaza, my final stop was the Holocaust Museum. The horrors of that history, told from the perspective of those people who were the clear victims, moved me nearly as much as seeing the holy sites. Thus, the increase in anti-semitism in today's world is shocking given the reality of the horrors of that dark, catastrophic event. I recently authored an editorial with another faith leader discussing the rise of anti-semitism. Here is a link: https://afro.com/afro-exclusive-op-ed-d-c-area-pastors-on-rise-of-antisemitism%EF%BF%BC/
Christians who worship a Jewish Jesus should wake up and stand against those who continue to despise and deride the Jewish people. Doesn't your faith require this of you?