Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Confraternity of Those Who Stand Alone

I know essentially nothing of Senator Ted Cruz other than he describes faith as "a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior,” and having joined the confraternity of Those Who Stand Alone, is standing alone throughout this night "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Pray it is with the Spirit's leading:
And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.... And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.... And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.... Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth (1 Samuel 17:4-49).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, Israel’s most holy Shabbat began at sunset today. The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27-32) is when the Children of Israel are to afflict their souls in anticipation of the Day they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son (Zechariah 12:10). This day in Israel is typically a day of fasting, prayer, and silence: the streets still, not as much as a taxi, businesses shuttered, radio stations mute, and the pervading silence even constrains the tongue. This is how it began that tranquil autumn morning of October 6 1973: