This is the time of year when most of Christendom is focused on the advent of the Messiah of Israel, commonly called Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. In churches and in homes Scriptures from the Old and New Testament will be read that detail the coming of the Long Expected One. Most of us have heard these verses so many times that they almost flow off of our tongues as they are being read to us… We know the flow and the rhythm to the point that they offer incredible comfort. A halcyon warmth embraces us and we float on the river of sweet memories and blessed promises. But, do we really pay attention?
Have you ever noticed that there are some verses in these beloved Scriptures that really really challenge the historical understanding of the story and at times confront even major tenets in the theological narrative…
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Like most who are raised in Christendom, I grew up believing that Jesus came to ‘save His people from their sins.’ And, I was only partly right! Indeed, personal redemption is necessary for the Messiah’s mission, but it is not the primary focus of His prophesied ministry.
In recent weeks I have had the urge to go back and reread the Gospels with a new lens, that of Yeshua (Jesus) as the
Restorer of the Tent of David.
Acts 1:6So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
Over and over, the prophets foretold of a coming King who will sit on the throne of David and regather Israel, all 13 tribes, from the four corners of the earth. That King will teach Torah and make Israel into a great and glorious kingdom…
Got lazy this afternoon and thought i’d try making a smoothie of my Israeli salad ingredients rather than chopping them. Use fresh organically grown when you can, bring veggies to room temperature for best flavour!
Here’s the recipe:
1 medium home grown cucumber
1/2 vine ripened tomato
1/2 medium sized green pepper (or red, or yellow, or orange)
Now, my smoothie maker isn’t real strong, so i put in about half the cucumber, then all of the tomato and whirred that until smooth, then added the rest as it made room. Oh, made about a pint of drinkable veggie smoothie. Now to be real Israeli Salad, you’d need to add a bit onion as well. I’ll do that next time.
Find pomegranates in the fresh fruit section of your local grocery store now! But hurry–the season is nearly over! Pomegranates I purchase at Twin Oaks Produce, located just west of Brookfield, Missouri, for only $1.89 each, are sweet and juicy!
Granted – they are not local to north Missouri, but they are very tasty and certainly good for you. Check out this handy fruit chart to compare nutritional values of popular raw fruits:
Even a cursory search on the internet will produce oodles of sites touting the health benefits of eating pomegranates. Here’s one I found: Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate. There are instructions for removing the arils on this page, but all i do is cut the fruit in half, parallel to the crown, then cut in half again. Bend skin backwards to make aril (seed) removal easier. It just takes time – no hurry – it’s definitely worth the effort.
It seems most of the commercially available pomegranates are grown in California. Pomegranate trees can be grown in less favorable climes, but with limited success or smaller fruits. Pomegranates are picked ripe, so no need to wait for it to ripen. As far as I can determine, pomegranates are still non-GMO, but correct me quickly if I’m wrong!
One of my favorite smoothies is a combination of about 1 cup pomegranate arils, 2 cups baby spinach, and up to 1 cup coconut water (enough to get the smoothie to blend easily). Delicious and healthy.
Our trip to Israel in the fall of 2011 (for Sukkot) would not have been complete without a wine tasting and visitor tour to Rimon Winery.