Every ten years my Jewish family has a reunion, mostly to see who’s still alive, but also to catch up with the latest births, marriages and divorces.
There were 222 people present at this latest one. There were so many new relatives it was difficult to spot a familiar face in the crowd. It reminded me of the 70 Jews who went down to Egypt and came out in the millions 400 years later.
I’ve been praying for my relatives since becoming a believer in Yeshua, so I went with the hope I’d have an opportunity to speak to at least some of them.
Not a chance.
Not one possibility of an exchange opened up, except for one couple, cousins of mine.
“How do you celebrate the holidays?” I asked hoping that would lead into a conversation of all things Jewish.
“I’m Catholic,” the husband said.
That one I didn’t see coming.
I recovered quickly. “Then tell me, do you go to church?”
“Oh no!” he said chuckling.
“So where are you in your understanding of Jesus?”
“Nowhere. I don’t believe in him,” he said.
I was going to ask him how he could be a Catholic and not believe in Jesus when his wife chimed in.
“I’m Methodist,” she said.
“So do you believe in Jesus?” I asked quickly, hoping the conversation would go off in a better direction.
“No, I believe in a higher power.”
“Well, I believe Jesus is our Messiah. Knowing him has changed my life,” I said, and then I waited. Would they ask me how Jesus changed my life?
“I don’t want to hear this,” my cousin said, turning his back to me.
And that was the end of the discussion.
I did meet one couple with three sons who were all believers, and we had a great time talking about our Messiah.
That lifted my spirits.
God had answered my prayers with them!
Then I asked them to join me in praying for the rest of the family, that they too would come to know their Messiah.
“Oh, what a wonderful idea! I never thought to do that,” the wife said.
I was speechless.
In fact, I didn’t know what shocked me more, my Jewish cousin having become a Catholic or this believing Jewish cousin who never thought to pray for the rest of the clan.
I went home heavy-hearted.
However, I was determined more than ever to keep praying for the family, but now I’m also asking God to give those who believe in Jesus a heart for those relatives that still don’t know the joys of their Messiah.
Have you had a similar experience to this?
Talk to me.