My small group is immersed in Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus (How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith) by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg.
I will be sorry to see this study end and glad that I have the book to refer to again and again.
To get a vision of life in Jesus’ day–the culture and the customs–helps me see Him and understand His teachings in a new and deeper way.
In the appendix, the authors offer up some of the prayers that Jesus prayed and “A Selection of Blessings (Berakhot.)”
Since about A.D. 400, prayers of blessing have always started with the words, “Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe . . .” In the first century they were much shorter, simply beginning with the words “Blessed is he . . .” The first book of the Mishnah (Berakhot) lists dozens of blessings and when they were used. Below are some of them in the form they would have had in the first century. ~Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, page 215.
I love how these can help me look for Him in everything, how they can help discipline me see deep.
Below are just a few that Ann and Lois share with my personal response. I found the last one online here.
When you first open your eyes in the morning, you say,
Blessed is he who gives sight to the blind.
Please, God, give me eyes to see you in all things this day.
When you see the first budding tree in springtime, you say,
Blessed is he who did not omit anything from the world, and created within it good creations and good trees for people to enjoy!
Lord, I am overwhelmed at the detail in a single blossom!
When you see lightning, falling stars, lofty mountains, great deserts or the sky in all its beauty, you say,
Blessed is he who made the creation.
Father, let me see you in the sun and in the storm.
When you hear thunder or feel an earthquake, you say,
Blessed is he whose strength and power fill the world.
Lord, in my weakness, you are my strength.
When it rains (or something else good happens), you say,
Blessed is he who is good and gives good things!
Lord, give me a grateful spirit.
When something terrible happens, you say,
Blessed is he who is the true judge.
You, God, are good and give good things through and even because of the terrible.
When you see a beautiful person, animal, or tree, you say,
Blessed is he who has such as these in the world.
Help me to find your whispers of beauty in all things.
When you catch a scent on the breeze, you say,
Blessed is he who hast created fragrantwoods,” “fragrant spices,” and “fragrant oils,” “odorous plants,” and “odorous fruits.”
Lord, thank you for the remnant that remains from the Great Lilac Massacre.
God is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace.
Creation and creatures applaud you, God; your holy people bless you.
They talk about the glories of your rule; they exclaim over your splendor,
Letting the world know of your power for good; the lavish splendor of your kingdom.
~Psalm 145:9-12 (Message)