Read Romans 9:1-5; Romans 10:1-3
Everyone has a story. That is always true, as it was for each of the families whose lives were impacted on October 27 during the Sabbath service. That was a day of unspeakable horror that took place in the Tree of Life Synagogue when a place of caring and love was invaded by evil. I don't know any of these people in Pittsburgh, but if I could speak across the table to any of them, this is what I would want them to know.
One special gift you have given me is the way that you carefully and faithfully wrote down and cherished the words the Lord gave you. It is because of that fact that I have come to know so many life-changing truths. The scriptures that God gave your people are an anchor and a light for me, Psalm 119:105.
What a joy I have because I have learned the truth of creation and how sin entered the world, Genesis 1-3. Because of this amazing truth, I am in awe of the small things like flowers, as well as being thrilled by the sound of the wind blowing through the majestic pine trees. Innumerable wonders were brought into being by the proclamation of the Lord. He only spoke and it was so. How blessed it is to know that God made human beings special. We were created in His image and likeness, Genesis 1:26-27. Everything and everyone who is here came into being by His will and not as a result of random chance.
It is because of the accuracy and precision with which your people handled and guarded the sacred writings that I came to understand that the Lord promised Adam and Eve that He would send the Messiah, Genesis 3:15. Though they disobeyed God, the world would not suffer under the consequences of their sin forever. No! The Creator wanted them and us to know that he had a plan in place to make things right again.
The wonders continue. How thankful I am that I have begun to come to know Abraham. The One who is called God's friend, 2 Chronicles 20:7. Now as I have begun to know him, he has become a friend to me too. What a beautiful thing it is to read how the Lord made Himself known to that patriarch. What a joy to watch how the Lord took one childless couple and began a nation through them. How wonderful it is for me to read of God's unconditional promises to bless not only the Jewish people, but indeed, the whole world through His covenant with this one man, who was the progenitor of this small nation, Genesis 12:1-3. How many times have I been glad as I have remembered that God didn't choose the Jewish people because they were strong and mighty, Deuteronomy 7:6-7. Rather, it was His desire to pour out His love on you simply because He wanted to do so. I have clung to that truth many times when I felt small, weak and unworthy because I have discovered that His love for me is a gift, poured out on me, as it was poured out on your people. It came from God's heart, unearned and freely given.
There are so many additional precious things that I have learned from the books from Genesis through Malachi. I cannot begin to enumerate all the wonderful nuggets of truth that have buoyed me up and brought me joy. Yet, there is a special connection I have with you, God's chosen people. In His humanity, your people brought forth Jesus, the One Who is my Savior. I love the One born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2. He is David's son, the fulfillment of the promise made to the man after God's own heart, 1 Samuel 13:14 ;2 Samuel 7:8-13. His lineage could be proved because your people were so careful to keep tribal records. Therefore, I can be certain that He was from the tribe of Judah, as was prophesied, Genesis 49:10. He kept the law completely without flaw. He was circumcised, attended the feasts and kept Sabbath. He spent time teaching and coming together with others in the synagogue, as you do today.
Thank you for your gifts to me. If I could humbly hold out one gift to you, it would be the same one Paul the apostle wanted to share. This Jewish man whom I have come to love held out this same gift to the Jewish people of his generation. He longed that they come to know that Jesus was their promised Messiah.
Father, Thank You for Your chosen people and how You gifted the world through them. Thank You that You will fulfill every promise You have made to them. Please bring Your special help to the family of the Tree of Life synagogue.