I have just returned from back-to-back weekly travel so was unable to have those quiet moments when I feel inspired to write a Shabbat encouragement. So I wasn’t planning to, until this morning, when I guess there were other plans at work. . .
As I took my morning jog, a routine sorely missed over this time frame, I heard Steve McConnell’s “Peter’s Song” with new ears. You must listen to it if you don’t know the song for it is a treasure. I listened to the same lyrics I’ve heard hundreds of times about Peter’s lament of denying he knew Yeshua, and the amazing love and grace Yeshua still bestows upon him. And yet, this time the words took on new meaning as we enter these last few moments before Yom Kippur.
The song recounts Peter repeating several times He doesn’t know Yeshua when confronted. This morning these powerful lyrics struck a chord with me of the analogy of the denial of our people that Yeshua is the Messiah. How could we, the Jewish people, deny the truth Him? We were chosen, just as was Peter, by Him, to be His disciples. And yet mainstream Judaism rejects Yeshua as the Messiah. We, the very people who have been charged with bringing HaShem’s light to the Nations. . . The truth lies around our people’s neck as a millstone, just as goes the verse in the song when speaking of Peter’s denial.
Peter laments how could he have denied this man of God? A man so loved despite his failures. As Yeshua forgives and loves Peter, and as Peter reassures Yeshua how much he loves Him, Yeshua charges him to feed His lambs and tend His sheep. So too, Yeshua loves us, despite our failures, and we, the Jewish people, are charged to be a light to the Nations. As our Jewish brothers and sisters bring the light of HaShem to the Nations, so too, over time this light will shine even brighter as the bigger picture is understood of the place of Yeshua in that light.
The majority of our Jewish brothers and sisters are entering these most holy times of Yom Kippur, repenting, seeking forgiveness. As we Messianic Jews enter as well alongside, we take on the additional repentance on behalf of our people for denying Yeshua. The words of “Peter’s Song” cut so deeply to inspire us to seek this forgiveness for our people at this most appropriate time.
Sid and I are off to Kol Nidre in a couple hours, this year with one more request for forgiveness cut freshly in my heart.
May you have an easy fast and Shabbat shalom.