A couple of weekends ago, the family had the opportunity to attend a Messianic Jewish Conference in Southern California. This was a 3-day family event with break-out sessions for classes during the day and 3-4 hour long worship sessions in the evening. To say the conference was amazing is an understatement! Every time I meet someone who has been to an African worship service, they always comment on how lively "African" worship is. I guess they have never been to a Messianic Jewish service! The 4 hours seem so short and leave one yearning for more! Not exactly like my last 4 hour church service in Kenya where almost everyone was comatose from boredom! One of the classes during the day was Jewish dance and those who took the classes would dance during the worship service in the evening. The dancing, tambourines and waving flags all made for an amazing worship service. That, and the fact that the scriptures really come alive to a Messianic Jew who praised God from the deepest recesses of their soul that the Messiah already came and as they sing with real heartfelt cries to God petitioning Him to open the eyes of their loved ones to this truth.
Conversion to christianity usually means alienation from Jewish family and friends who view you as joining the enemy - some families mourn as though you have died. Teen converts usually get sent to see a shrink and it causes their families great grief. The Church has a long and tragic history of persecuting Jews in the name of Christ almost leading to their anihiliation - save for God's promises and prophecies in the old testament that must still be fullfilled. So for a Jew to learn that a loved one has joined the "christians" is almost like a slap in their face. The current Replacement Theology prevalent in many church denominations results from this history as open anti-semitism in the church is no longer politically correct.
They had a wonderful kids program which allowed the grown ups to soak in all the teaching and both adults and kids learned a few more Hebrew words! Big brother asked if we could return to the hotel where the conference was as they had so many kids activities! He assumed the hotel had set up all the kids games and bible lessons! Next time someone wants to experience amazing worship from the depth of one's heart, they need not travel to Africa - check out your nearest Messianic Jewish congregation!