Shalom good morning it’s great to be here. It’s nice to be with you and, thank God we’re all here. You know, that’s a real blessing, isn’t it?
Some of us maybe didn’t think we’d make it, but we did. And so, it’s a joy to be with you and to be able to share a little bit of my heart.
Now, before I launch into the message that I believe God’s given to me, I do need to remind all of us (not that some of you need reminding) that we are now in the 10 days of repentance.
The 10 days of repentance within the Jewish tradition. This is a really special time and it’s a time when Jewish people probably think more about repentance from sin than at any other time of the year.
We say prayers of repentance you know, Jewish people pray every morning and night, and sometimes in the afternoon, religious Jewish people do.
We are praying prayers which means asking for forgiveness.
So, the whole Jewish mentality of course is that if we are sufficiently repentant and, if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds – though we never quite know where that stands – but if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds, then, God will give us a good year.
There is not a very strong understanding within Judaism of personal salvation. It’s there, but it’s not something we think about a lot. It’s a little bit more corporate.
Therefore, as you walk around this beautiful neighbourhood which has so many great places to eat and shop for kosher food. I mean and I’m from Brooklyn, the ‘holy land’ you know, and and yet, I come here (I’m staying in Hendon), and it’s like I’ve gone to heaven!
I can get all the herring I want and it’s just wonderful!
But pray for your Jewish friends and colleagues, and family. It’s a time when Jewish people in general are a little bit more open-hearted and thinking about these great themes of our personal relationship with God and the forgiveness.
This is a wonderful time, yesterday the Chosen People Ministries UK Board was able to meet here, at the church. I’m very grateful to Tony, Kyuwon, Chris, and for all those who worked hard to set up, I hope.
We cleaned up adequately, getting those chairs back together was a real bear though I’ve got to tell, they do connect to each other; the few anyways.
It’s great to be here and I’ve been a friend of this congregation for decades. Of course, we’re personal friends with your leadership for a long time and have a lot of people that I care about a lot in this congregation. It’s just a joy to be here.
My daughter, when she was at UCL, attended the congregation faithfully and so I have I have two anglophiles for children and an anglophile wife. It’s like, you know, fish and chips all year!
But they all did their year abroad in the UK and so, it’s wonderful!
I did visit more often then, for sure. What did Jesus say?
Where your children are, your heart… Anyway, you travel as often…
It’s good to be back!