January 8

Isaiah 43:4-9

“Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life.” vs. 4

When we take time to study the history of the Jewish people we can’t help but be impressed by their dogged determination to hang on to their heritage and religious practices. They’ve endured almost endless persecution and prejudice through thousands of years and have emerged with a strong sense of pride and dignity. Some of that strength has come from the Hebrew scriptures and the encouraging words of the prophets. For generations they’ve read that they are precious in the sight of God, and honored, and that they are loved. They’re God’s chosen ones! Followers of Jesus are inheritors of those same promises and believe with all their hearts that those baptized into Christ Jesus are a holy nation, a people set aside for the good of the world. It’s that conviction that gives them strength in the face of adversity and hope when the future seems dim. How sad then that some Christians have been central through the years in promoting the vicious teachings of antisemitism! We’re not enemies! Both Jews and Christians have an intimate connection to the Lord of the Universe and a common calling to be the light of the world. Both are precious in the sight of God. How beautiful it is when rivalries are put aside and we can live together in peace and harmony!

Thought for the Day: What do Jews and Christians have in common?

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