It is incumbent to await the coming of Moshiach every single day, and all day long.. It is not enough to believe in the coming of Moshiach, but each day one must await his coming..
Furthermore, it is not enough to await his coming every day, but it is to be in the manner of our prayer ‘we await Your salvation all the day,’ that is, to await and expect it every day, and all day long, literally every moment!
– Chafetz Chaim, Chizuk Emunah
These words lay out another important principle for the building of a mature Messianic Judaism and that being the primacy of our righteous Messiah and the hope of His return to bring the Messianic age.
This is important in dealing with two potential objections against Messianic Judaism:
1. That Yeshua gets lost in our practicing Judaism.
2. That we get so focused on the Messiah’s return that we don’t build a mature Messianic Judaism for the future.
The first objection is seen by many critics of our movement in the Church to be our critical error, in that Yeshua is secondary to our Jewish practice. We need to realize that Yeshua is the one that is so ever present in the prayers of the siddur and embodies the hopes of Judaism, including the Judaism of today. As Judaism has developed since the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, the messianic hopes of the Jewish people have sought for the coming redeemer. We who are followers of Yeshua know that this one that is alluded to each day in the prayers of the Jewish people is our righteous Messiah, Yeshua.
Whenever I consider the connection of Yeshua to my daily practice of Judaism the verse:
“If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15)
plays a significant role and was a part of a homily that I gave one Shabbat during Passover, relating the eating of matzo per the Torah’s command to an act of love for Yeshua. In living a life within Judaism, seeking to follow Torah we are also performing an act of honoring our Messiah. So then this is also another response to those who hold to a Yeshua-Judaism dichotomy.
The second objection that we are so focused on the coming of the Messiah that we are not building for the future is actually more directly related to the words of Chafetz Chaim. Yeshua is the long awaited Jewish Messiah that will come again and establish Yom Shekulo Shabbat (A time of unending Shabbat). Though much of those in the Jewish world are expecting the first appearing of Messiah, we know that this will be His glorious return. The coming of Messiah will be the full flowering of God’s consumation of history and the hope of the Ages, yet this Messianic hope must not keep us from seeking to continue to build a mature Messianic Judaism for the future.
We must as the words of Chafetz Chaim say “await the coming of Moshiach, every day, even every moment”, but while waiting we must be doing those things necessary to building our future, including establishing new Messianic syangogues, establishing educational programs, writing books, mentoring future leaders, writing children’s curriculum, dealing with formation of Messianic halakha and other vital tasks.
We need to see that our Messianic hope be tied to the work that will bring about this consumation of all things and to do our part to work until the fulfillment of the words of Paul in Romans 11:26,
“On that day all Israel shall be saved”.
The salvation of the Jewish people is intrinsically tied to the work of our righteous Messiah and we as His followers must do our part to establish a place wherein the over 1900 year old breach of Yeshua faith from Jewish space will again be bridged and build the place where Jewish people can follow Torah, live in Jewish space and honor the Messiah of Israel and this can be done if we build a mature Messianic Judaism for the future.
May we soon be worthy to see the coming of Yeshua, our righeous Messiah and if He tarries may we earnestly await His appearing and do our part in His service to establish Messianic Judaism for the future.