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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

A Multisensory Exploration through the Bible: A New Way of Family and Synagogue Life

TLV Coloring Pages

Coloring Pages Available on the TLV Bible All-Access App

Recently, I presented our new TLV Weekly Bible lessons at the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations leaders conference. What a wonderful, dedicated group of parents and teachers.

I challenged them with a few radical ideas. Things like: what would happen if we kept families together during worship services, instead of separating people by age groups? What would happen if the Rabbi taught the children, instead of the adults once in a while? (What could make the children feel more special than that?)

And what if the TLV children’s coloring pages (available on the TLV Bible All-Access App!) were disappearing at the door because the adults liked coloring during the Rabbi’s teaching just as much as the children? Ha! Don’t laugh… it’s happening in Boca! The Rabbi there, Rabbi Jesse, didn’t dismiss it – or worse yet, rebuke them… he embraced it! We chatted about it at conference because his goal is that people ENGAGE with the sermon and the Bible, not just listen passively and dismiss the work of God in their lives.

The big secret about gathering together to celebrate Messiah in community is that we all have to participate WHILE we each have to REACH God in the same moment. Some people learn best while doodling! Some folks would remember more if they closed their eyes, because they are auditory learners.

Some people are tactile learners and need to feel the Bible on their lap – like a security blanket. And some people need to search through the Bible during the message because hearing the rice paper pages rustle is their way of knowing we are searching for buried treasure together!

Some learners need visual impact. So, our Bible Society gave out copies of Aaron Trank’s brother’s 54 unit video ‘Parsha in a minute’ CD at the Messianic Leader’s Roundtable (JVMI) last November. We thought to ourselves… wouldn’t the kids in synagogues love to see these one minute videos of the Bible alongside their parents? Maybe they could talk about the Bible portion on the way home together. Hmmm…

TLV Journey Bible App

Download the TLV Bible All-Access App, available on iOS and Android

If young people can watch cat videos for their entertainment value alone – certainly we can watch one minute about the Bible together each week. And, wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that if your Rabbi said something so striking that – when you tweeted it to your circle of friends or posted it on Facebook – someone’s life changed in that instant?

Part of the miracle of building a loving faith community together is to share our LEARNING experience as we play our part in the journey of the Children of Israel.

Let me say this, I was really impressed with the heart that the leadership had in providing relief and encouragement to the Rabbis and their wives. The art of communication was explored with a level of compassion that was really refreshing.

I have traversed the dozens of Messianic conferences year after year, and have watched my friends serve tirelessly. These beloved people have been building up new believers in the faith, ministering to the hurting and broken, and carrying the banner for a chosen people REBORN in one of the most blessed and challenging times in human history.

Honestly, I think the UMJC, led by a new multigenerational and energized team, have really grasped the urgency of finding their new voice in a thoughtful and genuine way. The initiative of their K20 program has produced excellent young leaders ready to serve responsibly and responsively. It took me years to get to know them, having started in a different organization myself, but it was worth all the effort. I am blessed to call them my friends.

I hope, in the years ahead, I will see the dream fulfilled of the children of our communities carrying their TLV Bibles to synagogue, walking side by side with their parents. I hope they walk in the door, pick up their TLV Treasures bulletins and their pack of crayons and sit by their folks, coloring and laughing and singing. I hope they hear the Rabbi – who they know loves them – tell their family how to love each other more and I hope to hear stories of families talking about the Bible on the way home and follow Messiah’s teachings that Rabbi shared with them, so they can grow up loving God and each other.

I hope that when they become teens, they will have so MANY good memories about time with their family at synagogue that they couldn’t imagine living a life without God – no matter what their atheist friends at college may say. In fact, I hope they are so secure about God’s love for them, that their light shines bright to every kind of person that God wants to reach around them.

I pray that when they start a family of their own, they will receive a TLV Family Bible as a wedding gift to put on their coffee table so that Bubbe and Zayde are ready to read the stories of Israel’s Family Diary to their children’s children cuddling on their laps as the Shabbat candles are being prepared to be lit once again.

And, I believe that one day, when we are filling out our family tree pages in the back of our Bibles, the children will treasure the TLV Family Bible because it is the cornerstone of our faith -visible in the heart of our homes. Our faith in Messiah is more than a pipe dream, Yeshua is the beating heart of our faith promised to Abraham and we represent the faithful remnant that loves The God of Israel.

We welcome all people to join the journey and celebrate Messiah! There is plenty of room in our Heavenly Father’s house – and heart – and ALL are welcome.

Much Love, Daniah

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