Letter Concerning Future Developments with Covenant Communities
from +Mar David, Catholicos Patriarch of the Assembly of Jerusalem
December 3, 2017
Shalom to all the brethren in the Assembly of Jerusalem.
I was humbled beyond words when I was asked about taking the spiritual reigns of the earthly assembly. Every day I ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit as to the direction I should lead the Assembly. As one who has been appointed as a spiritual leader for the Assembly of Jerusalem and its various communities, one of my duties is to pray for all of the members.
As reflected throughout the Scriptures, those who have been appointed in leadership roles, are given instructions through the Three Pillars concerning the spiritual education of the Assembly’s membership, and always according to our Heavenly Father’s will. These divine instructions are meant to bring people closer to our Heavenly Father, but they must always apply them in their lives, and in the various situations they find themselves. It is the same for the Assembly today as it was in ancient times.
The spiritual laws and teachings defined for each community are to be applied in their entirety. We are not permitted to select the ones we like and only live by those, but it is our duty, regardless of our place of service in the Assembly, to live by all the spiritual laws provided to us. Likewise we are not to look within other communities and choose laws and traditions which we like and add them to the community we belong to, especially if the traditions and practices were never provided to our own community. All that does is cause confusion and more importantly it is not according the Father’s will for that community.
For example, each person lives in a country that has put laws into place that are, hopefully, for the betterment of its citizens. We can not look at other countries and choose laws they have that we like and apply them in the country in which we live. It simply doesn’t work that way. We must live according to our own country’s laws, and if we don’t, we can expect to be punished for violating the law of the land. Obviously and more importantly the laws of the spiritual community we belong to are not to be taken lightly. If we do not live by those laws and teachings of our own community or covenant, ultimately we will be judged according to those laws or covenant we were supposed to follow in the first place.
The Scriptures give us an encouraging word that when two or more are gathered together, Yeshua is present. (Read Matthew 18:20) Each gathering of believers is being observed by the angelic hosts. The Father knows how serious people are when they gather to worship. He knows if it is a time for worship or simply a time for socializing with a small dash of worship to make it feel “official”.
Our Heavenly Father knows our every thought and action. Nothing is kept from Him. When we go to Him to confess our sins He already knows our sin. He is waiting for us to come to Him with a sincere heart and ask forgiveness. He also knows whether or not we are making a sincere effort to change our lives, in order to prevent, as far as we are able, committing the same sin again.
Spiritual discipline is not enjoyable but it is meant to make us better disciples of Yeshua, and children of our Father in heaven. When we live according to the instructions that we receive through the Holy Pillars of the Faith, our lives are blessed, and those around us in the world see that we give honor and praise to the One whom we worship.
In the upcoming weeks each community will be reviewed and instructions will be given to insure that what is being taught is in accordance with the Father’s will as it is being revealed through the Three Pillars of the Faith. Focus will be placed on having clear teachings according to the traditions that are associated with the covenant of a particular community. We must be diligent in abiding by these instructions, and to seek clarification when needed. It is up to each member – each one of us – to apply the divine instructions in our lives.
Look around and see what is taking place in your community and in your country. There has been an increase in natural disasters, illnesses and violence. Humanity is being warned that time is growing short. It is our duty to make our spiritual lives more serious. We were never promised that our spiritual journey would be an easy one. Instead, it is filled with obstacles placed before us by the evil one and by the world and all its distractions. If we are serious about our spiritual walk, and developing proper discipleship through study and application of Mshikha’s teachings, those obstacles will be easier to deal with.
One day time will run out and everyone will stand before the Throne, answering for their actions. How long will our Heavenly Father, who is both loving and just, will sit back and allow us to continue in the direction this world is going? The Scriptures speaks a great deal of the Father’s love but they also speak of His judgment, and that judgment is always with His own house first. Where do you want to be spiritually when the final judgment comes? That decision is up to you and you alone.
May the Father bless you with the spirit of discernment so that you may choose to rise above the obstacles and pettiness of the world, and become more serious about your spiritual journey in His light.