I regret the pizza. Though I hesitate to call it pizza, it was more like some strange toppings on a saltine cracker and it resembled nothing that had ever passed over my taste buds. Our family traveled to Nigeria for 10 days. We were learning to enjoy the pounded yams that were a part of most meals but we were longing for a little taste of home. We did not find it in the pizza that night.
It is a wonderful and challenging adventure to be immersed in a completely different culture. To visit or live in a country where your skin color, language, foods and thought patterns don't match everyone else's is a valuable experience for anyone. It is humbling to be completely dependent on others for your ability to communicate. Most of you have probably experienced this at some point in your life. Some of you may be immigrants where being immersed into a new culture was not just a visit but became a way of life. Maybe you have tucked those memories away and allowed them to shape your approach to those you meet who are working hard to learn your culture.
Learning to follow Jesus Christ is a different kind of culture shock. To understand His teaching and His miracles you must immerse yourself in Jewish culture. Jewish traditions, language, festivals, dress, and laws all shape how we understand Jesus Christ. If you choose to follow Jesus Christ you move from being a casual observer of Jewish culture to being adopted into the family. You become a child of Abraham (Galatians 3). The stories of the Jewish people become your stories. You must learn to think and act like a child of Abraham.
This week as we take a closer look at who Jesus is we will discover that the Son of God was born into a Jewish family, in the line of David the great, conquering king of the Old Testament. To prepare your heart for this week's message, read and meditate on Isaiah 53. See you Sunday! -Kris