CMJ Israel's Great Heritage
Sometimes when you speak out loud the things that are on your mind, on your heart, you find that what you say means so much more than what you think. Somehow the act of verbal expression compacts, formalises and brings to the fore what’s really important.
I discovered this truth while away in the USA and Canada last month, sharing about the work and ministry of CMJ in Israel. It was a privilege to travel from Washington DC to Lincoln, Nebraska, to Starkville, Mississippi and to Atlanta and then Chicago.
(This picture shows the beautiful Butchart Gardens in Victoria, that we were privileged to visit.)
In Canada I met up with my colleague Aaron Eime, who serves as curate at Christ Church in Jerusalem and who is a gifted teacher, particularly in the area of the Jewish roots of the Christian faith and Jewish interpretations of Scripture. Together we travelled from Vancouver to Edmonton and Victoria, and then I visited Toronto, all the while sharing about CMJ’s calling and ministry, God’s faithfulness in fulfilling his word about Israel and the Jewish people and their return to their own land in our day, and bringing a unique Jewish perspective to the Scriptures.
My sermon on Sunday 29th April at the Church of our Lord (the “Cool Church”) in Victoria may be listened to and downloaded here: http://www.coolchurch.ca/media/2018-04-29-god-s-plan-for-israel.
What I learned as I crossed these two huge countries was that CMJ Israel has a critically important story to tell. The character of John Nicolayson, who came to Jerusalem in the 1820s and then settled there in the 1830s to serve the local Jewish community, looms large over our past. He laid a solid and faithful foundation upon which most all that we now do is built.
Our long history, our heritage buildings, our proclamation of the Gospel, our doctors, clinics, hospitals and schools, our House of Industry and training programmes for Jewish believers, all these have sunk deep roots into the Land of Israel and established a heritage of faith and faithfulness that equips us for our current calling and ministry here.
This is a ministry that excites people, that challenges people, and inspires people. This is a ministry that is worth supporting.
It is an honour to serve with CMJ Israel. It’s an honour to work alongside all of our volunteers and staff. It’s an honour to stand, as it were, on the shoulders of the giants that have gone before us, and it’s an honour to prepare the way for those that will follow.
My call for churches, individuals and communities to support CMJ Israel was a challenge to all those that we met, and I am happy to repeat it here. You can support us in four different ways:
1. By volunteering with us here in Israel (https://www.cmj-israel.org/volunteer)
2. By organising or joining a Shoresh tour to Israel to learn more about the Jewish roots of our faith (https://www.cmj-israel.org/shoresh-tours)
3. By praying for us, and committing to continue to pray for our work and ministry in Israel.
4. And finally, by contributing financially to our ministry. Ministry costs money; indeed, the apostle Paul spoke regularly about the need to gather an offering for the fledgling church in Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:1–4; 2 Cor 8:1–9:15; Rom 15:14–32), and so it is today. To donate to our work in Israel, just click here: https://www.cmj-israel.org/donate.
This visit was a great eye-opener to me. I’m blessed to have done it, and I look forward to returning to meet more of the wonderful people in these countries, and indeed to visit again those I met on this trip.