What’s a nice Jewish girl doing in church?

It’s Sunday today and I’m looking forward to my weekly dose of church. But when people hear I’m Jewish and I go to church, the reaction is sometimes – unsurprisingly – surprise. And I can tell you for sure: if anyone had told the old me that this was going to happen, I’d have laughed my head off. And not just because of being Jewish…

You see, the old me was a secular agnostic with strong anti-religion feelings. I was pretty sure that even if God exists, it’s impossible to find out the truth about him. And I shared my friends’ (and my dad’s) hostility towards religious people. We mocked them, feeling so much more clever and sophisticated…

I was 27 when this abruptly changed. I went to church, totally not expecting anything, and met someone there – and going back to the question I started with, the old “what’s a nice Jewish girl doing in a place like this?”, the answer is simply: it’s where the Jewish Messiah hangs out! He’s the one I met in that church in London back in 1989 – though it took me a long time to understand that.

I’d grown up on the widely-held assumption that Jews don’t do Jesus – that he’s not for us, he’s the God of [some of] the Gentiles and we’ve got our own God, thank you very much. I didn’t know that he’s actually the Jewish Messiah, that so many biblical prophecies were fulfilled in him, that he didn’t come to form some new religion, that his first followers were Jewish, that he lived the life of a Jewish rabbi and preached to the Jews around him and celebrated the Jewish festivals and died with a sign above his head proclaiming something that was more true than the ones who made that sign could begin to understand: King of the Jews.

And it took a long long time before I understood this: that he is an integral part of Elohim, the God of Israel. Abraham knew him and believed in him. Moses knew him and believed in him. The Jewish people through the ages worshipped the real living God, who is not some single solitary distant figure as the Judaism of today paints its deity – no, Elohim is a plural noun, and the real God, Elohim who brought us out of Egypt and made us a people, is a united plurality!

It took me ages to get to the point of realising: the God of Christianity is the same God that my Jewish forefathers worshipped. I’ve come home!

Questions? Thoughts? Talk to me - I don't bite :)

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