Those with a fair knowledge of the church scene in South Africa, will have come across the word “celebration”, somewhere along the way. It is a loaded word that somehow grips the imagination of action-loving people. A quick search of the internet proves just how popular this concept of celebration has become. A celebration of discipline; a celebration of grace; a celebration of Christmas; a celebration of priesthood; a celebration of deliverance; a celebration of biblical masculinity; a celebration of praise and a celebration of sex, to mention just a few of the types of celebration, according to the internet, that may literally change your life!
This past Shabbat, I had the privilege of being part of a celebration of a different nature. There was no extravagant glamour, no world renowned speaker and not a single one of the typical sugar-coated elements that one would often find at “venues of celebration”. There was no real difference between the hundred odd spectators and the ones taking part in the proceedings of the day. In fact, every single one took part – in some way or other. The meeting consisted of singing, dancing, witnessing, praying, blowing of shofars, clapping of hands, reading of Scriptures, sound Scriptural teaching, inspirational music, frequent utterances of the word “HalleluYah”, words of praise in no less than three different languages, screams of little children (not understanding a word of what was being said but somehow sensing that something significant was going on) and an almost contagious buzz of excitement when everyone shared their food after the official program was concluded. Had the caretaker of the premises not intervened, the meeting would have carried on for two or three more hours – not many were eager to return back home, despite the more than mild midday heat, so typical of a Bellville summer’s day.
What was the occasion? It was one of the three annual combined Shabbat get-togethers organized for the Messianic and Torah-embracing believers of the Western Cape. Many of the attendants did not even have their own means of transport and had to make special arrangements, in order to be able to attend this combined gathering. Many do not currently enjoy the luxury of belonging to a home fellowship or any other group of like-minded believers. Many came for the first time and weren’t sure what to expect. But those who took the trouble to come, were richly rewarded! What a privilege to be part of a meeting of this nature where people revered the Shabbat and showed no fear to call upon the revered Name of Yahweh! What an eye-opener to realise that the process of the rediscovery of the richness of Torah is now in full force in the Western Cape! Some of those present have silently been part of this process for more than a decade and have earnestly prayed for the day when a significant number of fellow believers would come and stand alongside them and express the same convictions and share the same views.
These prayers have not gone unanswered. Something very meaningful and prophetic is happening in the Western Cape. And judging by the significant number of attendants from other provinces, including Namibia, and by the increasing number of reports of similar meetings and excitement over similar matters in other parts of South Africa, one can safely say: Something very meaningful and prophetic is happening in the whole of Southern Africa! This, in itself, calls for a celebration. I know this kind of celebration will not even be noticed by the masses. But for many of us, it will be a celebration of note – a celebration of the supreme faithfulness of the One who inspired the prophet YeshaYahu to prophesy:
“Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to Yahweh, to serve Him, and to love the Name of Yahweh, to be His servants, all who guard the Sabbath, and not profane it, and hold fast to My covenant – them I shall bring to My set-apart mountain, and let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their slaughterings are accepted on My altar, for My house is called a house of prayer for all the peoples” (Isa 56:6-7).
If you are as excited as we are, or have sensed that something similar is happening in your area, or would just like to add a comment, please let us hear from you. Replies to this post are most welcome!