Kabbalat Shabbat/Sabbath Evening Meal

Howard Bass   http://streamsinthenegev.com

A brief background and sketch for a Messianic (Christian) understanding of the Jewish custom to welcome in the Sabbath day at the Friday evening family Sabbath dinner:

1. Gen. 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He ceased on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He ceased from all His work which God had created and made.

2. Ex. 20:8-11 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Shabbat of YHVH your God. You shall do no work. . . . For in six days YHVH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

3. Deut. 5:12-15 Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as YHVH your God commanded you. You shall do no work. . .[that they] may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore YHVH your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

4. Matt. 5:13-16 You are the salt of the earth;. . . You are the light of the world. . .

5. Singing of Shabbat songs, e.g., Ps. 92:1-5 a song for the Sabbath day; Ps. 150:5-6 Praise Him; Shabbat

6. Blessing of the Bread (challa): “Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-olam, haMotzi lechem min ha’aretz. Blessed art Thou, O YHVH our God,King of the Universe, that brings forth bread from the earth.” Yeshua is the Living Bread of Life whom the triune God raised from the Earth in His resurrection from among the dead.

Blessing of the Wine: “Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-olam, Borei pri ha’gefen. Blessed art Thou, O YHVH our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.” Yeshua is the Vine; we are the branches. As we abide in Him God creates Holy Spirit fruit in us.

An explanation is given to show how that Jewish families throughout Israel and the world celebrate each Friday evening the essence of what believers in the Lord Jesus Christ know as the Lord’s Supper (Communion),but that the Jews do not yet realize or recognize Who it is that they bless and celebrate. Just as the Sabbath day was commanded by God the Father to Israel as a remembrance of YHVH God as Creator and as Redeemer (Ransomer; Deliverer; Savior), and that His people were to cease from their own works and rest in His finished work, so too can Christians/Messianic Jews and Gentiles celebrate the new creation of our great God and Savoir, and enter into His Sabbath rest.

As Jewish people traditionally light candles and sprinkle salt on the living bread, Jesus tells His people and disciples to have salt in ourselves, and that we are the salt of the earth–preserving God’s covenant–and the light of the world–shining out and unto Him who is Himself the Light of life, the revelation of God the Father, and the essence of that which is good.

7. The blessing of the wife and of the children–the husband’s and father’s priestly service. As it was the privilege of the priests in the service of the LORD to eat the shewbread (the bread of the Presence), and to bless God’s people as His representatives, so do we in Christ enjoy the privilege of being priests unto God to bless our families and all the families for whom we intercede before Him, eating of the living Bread of God. We anticipate the return of the Bridegroom for His bride.

Yeshua being the King, and the Lord of the Sabbath, then the Church – the Body of Messiah —is the Sabbath Queen, whom Jewish people are inviting to come at each Sabbath evening meal!

8. Prayer and thanksgiving for the food, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit with all God’s people in the grace and love through His Son Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah.


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