Switch on any TV news channel and you’re guaranteed wall to wall ‘bad news’ full of ugly scary stuff. You could quite easily think that this is the only news on offer?
On September 27th 2014, I had a vivid dream!
At the heart of it I saw a remarkable image projecting from a large flat screen TV on a hotel lobby wall – it was set on a 24 hour news channel – no sound no commentary – just a huge chunk of rough stone filled the whole screen – chiseled into the stone was an unusual inscription that read
“Tishrei 2014 – the next Shemitah 2022”
As soon as I read the date 2022 – I shouted aloud – I haven’t got time to wait for that
It is now! The time is now!
So what does “it’s now” mean? I hear you ask. Here`s a brief explanation of these two Hebrew words:- Tishrei is the name given to the first civil month of a Jewish year; it’s based on the lunar calendar, which starts around September / October time. Shemitah literally means ‘release’ – spoken of in Leviticus 25:1-7 where every six years the physical land was given a whole year off – to rest itself from production. A true Sabbatical time of restoration and re-balance. A fore taste of what is to come in the liberating year of Jubilee. Fifty years make a Jubilee or put the biblical way its the culmination of seven Shemita’s. I find it quite dizzying to think that we are actually living during a Sabbath or Shemitah year which began last year 24/09/2014 and will complete on 13/09/2015 this means we will have to wait another six years, for the next `year of rest` to come round. However, the final day of this special year is called Elul 29 – Elul being the last month in the biblical calendar. Whilst I can appreciate why some folks speak of the Shemitah year in negative almost apocalyptic terms, especially when viewed against the scary backdrop of the previous two Shemitah’s that have taken place since the start of the third millennium. The first monetary collapse came hot on the heels of 9/11 – this ruinous event kick started the second in 2008 when the world economy witnessed the greatest financial crash of all time – Both events happened on this very same Biblical date Elul 29.
A time to Re-balance the books`
Because the Lord first says to those who work the land “In the seventh year you are to Rest the land” which suggests that the workers rest too. On a personal note – as soon as I heard about the significance of this Shemitah year happening in 2014/15 it immediately found a home in my heart. Even though I had “big plans” for the coming months, I decided to park /postpone them – in direct response to this divine request, so that I might enter His rest and experience this special `resting time ‘that He speaks of. Without doubt, this is a time in which we can choose or not choose to ‘give ourselves a rest’ and take the time to trust in the Creators provision ‘instead of following our own plans and purposes, to literally take a year out ‘a gap year’ so to speak – an exercise in intimate trust – a good time to rest in the “Shalom Giver” and drawdown from him in preparation for future turbulences gathering on the horizon
News Rest Flash
This current Shemitah year ends Elul 29 – September 13th 2015 so keep an eye on the calendar, as the clock is ticking down to exercise your choice to rest. Prophetic voices like Jonathan Cahn have written sobering insights on this subject like The Mystery of the Shemitah and The Harbinger both are well worth investigating.
Back to this Peculiar Dream
In reality it turned out to be a dreamy invitation to journey to Jerusalem a week later on October 6th 2014, where I spent unscheduled days with a bunch of folks from around the globe, who just happened to be on a similar path as my own. As I travelled throughout the land of Israel the standout topic of the journey solely centered on the significance of the Shemitah and how the Creator is drawing us into a deeper experience of resting in him.
On the fourth day I was on my way to visit an old friend, en route I decided to take a stroll around the gardened terraces of Talpiot overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, all of a sudden there was a festive commotion, a large group of people were gathering together, when unexpectedly an oriental lady emerged from amongst the joyful throng – she was dressed as a beautiful bride. The sight of this bride-to-be immediately stirred something deep inside – instead of reaching for my camera to capture the moment – to my surprise, I began singing aloud a brand new song in direct response to the unfolding spectacle before me.
Oh the Bridegroom is coming….and he`s lookin for his bride
As I walked away from these jubilations, I entered the city streets, heading towards my friend’s house who happens to live about two kilometers away. With each step this passionate Bridegroom lyric continued to grow and grow, building into a breath-taking crescendo at the close of the day when I encountered a magnificent sunset display
Oddly this sundown appeared to look more like a glorious splendour was rising from Jerusalem rather than departing from it. I must have stood there on this street corner for a good twenty minutes or so, taking several dozen photos of this fabulous kaleidoscope, enjoying each subtle transition as it danced across the sky.
During that time at least a hundred people must have walked by, seemingly oblivious to the stunning lightshow happening just above their heads on Jerusalem’s skyline; no doubt they were busy in contemplation on this second holy day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Anyway I continued snapping until eyeballed by two passersby – somewhat intrigued to what I was focusing on. They independently turned in the direction of my gaze to view the source for themselves, one guy even took his own snap of this naturally super- phenomenon.
Puzzled I thought to myself,
I wonder if these drop-dead sunsets are a daily occurrence in Jerusalem… maybe that’s why people aren’t stopping in their tracks and taking any notice?
All of a sudden as I gazed at this majestic sight, the heartbeat started pounding again in my spirit – But this time it had something fresh to say…
I’ve nearly finished ……My House!
What!!!…..Instead of being comforted by these words, they actually made me feel sad inside, that we were unable to share this precious moment together… Surely this illuminating event wasn’t just for me and a couple of other passersby?
Since returning home from this dreamy journey all sorts of lyrical themes have resurfaced drawing me back to the biblical heart beat. ‘Lover and the Beloved’ depicted so clearly in the person of Jesus / Yeshua as the Bridegroom and his followers [ the beloved] be they male or female are seen as his bride-to-be.
May I encourage you to seek out afresh such writings as the Song of Songs and the prophet Hosea, which teem with divine love insight; these scriptures take on a whole new radiance against the backdrop of this Shemitah year and the heavenly construction that`s starting to break through. One last little gem to re-emerge was found in our old band letterhead, which sort of says it all.
We do what we do and you do what you do Because we can’t do what you do and vice versa But together we facilitate what the Lover wants to do For the return of His Beloved
As artisans our calling is clear – use our gifts well – for the purpose of painting trailers/preveiws for the coming Main event His Return.
Remember the old hymn “Rock of ages cleft for me …Let me hide myself in Thee”
Yeshua – is the place of Safety
NB. Here is the finished song `The Bridegroom is coming` sung by Shoshanna Phillips [nee Maayan] from our feature film Jerusalem or Bust