The following is excerpted from an archived reflection by Moishe Rosen. You can read the full article here.
The Greek word commonly translated into church" is ekklesia. It means "the called-out ones." The Hebrew word, kehilla, means "congregation" or "gathering." A church is simply the gathering of believers who have been called out from the world to serve Y'shua. The church is not a building, it is people: Jews and Gentiles who believe and experience God's saving grace through Y'shua. How should we choose a congregation? Consider the following:
So I've mentioned my children in past Mishpochah Messages; please, bear with this Jewish father. I couldn't expect you to recognize the fact that our two are the brightest, most intelligent children in the world, but the doctor's name is Miriam and the lawyer is Jenni. They are wonderful kids who do not make it easy for me to write these letters, but I love them anyway! And I have a story to tell you about the older one.
I appreciate my church. The pastor is a good preacher and he sticks to the word of God! The singles group is great. I have loads of friends there. But a Messianic congregation is being started a few miles from my home. I am really torn as to whether I should join that group or stay with my church. The leader of the new congregation is saying that every Jewish believer in the area ought to be committed to this Messianic congregation. Do you think that every Jewish believer should go to a Messianic congregation? What would you advise in my case? Incidentally, I have been a believer for four years.
I've been asking some of you what issues you want addressed in the Mishpochah Message. One Jewish believer answered, I need some encouragement out here in the trenches. I go to a church, not a messianic synagogue. I enjoy the fellowship, but sometimes I feel out of place and even a little guilty about being a part of a church."
I was standing near the student union at the University of Illinois watching a hellfire and brimstone preacher condemn the crowd that had gathered to tease him.
Worship is like the wind. Sometimes it appears as a gentle breeze. Other times it appears with great power and might. The wind can lift us up, propel us forward and refresh us. We can approach the wind with wonder and awe or as something that is an everyday part of our lives. All of these elements are true of the wind at different times and in different circumstances.
In the February issue, we looked at worship as a "holy appointment" in which we seek to meet God at the place and time of His choosing—to honor Him as Lord and King. We continue the discussion in this issue by looking at how and where we can meet Him.
I checked into the hospice. The admittance requirements were simple. One had to be terminally ill with less than six months to live. That was me. Not the best prognosis, but, hey, you take what comes to you. And emphysema is what came to me.
Irina Ryvkina reports, “Natasha had attended a Messianic congregation over a long period of time, though not regularly because she is very ill. After she was recently hospitalized, I decided to visit her with a brother in Christ who lives in her city. Natasha was very glad to see us. She shared her anxieties, problems and pain with us. I felt she was seeking another, new life, so I asked her, ‘Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and mine and that He rose back from the dead? Do you believe that He loves you?’ She answered, ‘Yes.’ I asked her if she wanted to repent and receive Him. She asked, ‘What is repentance?’ I said, ‘It is a 180-degree-turn from sin; the beginning of a new life with God.’ Natasha replied seriously that this is exactly what she wanted. I offered the words of prayer, and she received Jesus as her personal Savior and Lord. Then Natasha confessed that she does not understand much in the Bible. Nevertheless, her life began to change almost immediately. When a neighbor’s husband tried to provoke her by speaking negatively against immigrants such as herself, Natasha did not argue but continued to read her Bible. When he insisted on a response from her, she drew another Bible—in German—from her cabinet, and offered it to him.