|As I continue to share from my recent journey to Israel, I am reminded that the Jews were all about having passion and fire for the Lord. The central location for their worship was the synagogue, and in yesterday’s post, I described this beautiful place where people worshiped during Jesus’ time. Let me ask you to imagine what synagogue worship was like back then. My educated guess is that this house of God was located in the center of town, and people would walk there. Men and women gathered and worshiped together, singing spiritual songs and psalms, as well as praying together.
What we do know is that every synagogue was centered around the reading of the Torah and the Haftarah, which is a series of selections from the books of “Prophets” of the Hebrew Bible. There was a Hazzan who oversaw the temple, and among the things he did was utilize the Jewish lectionary, which outlined the order of reading the entire Torah over a year’s time. According to this lectionary, every synagogue read the same scroll on the Sabbath day. The reader would usually be a member of the community and could be chosen as far out as three years in advance.
Friend, can you imagine those chosen seeing a list on the back of the wall with their name on it? Maybe they had anticipated reading the scripture for years. Perhaps it was a teenager who was having a bar mitzvah, and on that day would read the scripture surrounded by family in celebration! Seven scrolls would be read and the person would stand up to read with passion! Likewise, I encourage you to be passionate about God’s Word today. You are also called to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength.