This Christmas, Christians everywhere celebrate the birth of a Jewish man named Jesus born in Israel. Christians believe Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah, promised in the Old Testament.
While it is always appropriate to honor Jewish people for their many contributions to mankind, it is even more important for Americans to honor them now, in the aftermath of the recent massacre at an American synagogue.
As Christian leaders in Hampton Roads, we wish to publicly express our gratitude, respect and love for our Jewish neighbors. Christianity would not exist without the Jews.
The Old Testament—the Scriptures Jesus followed— was obviously written by Jews. The New Testament was entirely written by Jews, with the possible exception of Luke’s Gospel. Jesus was a Jew. All of his apostles were Jewish. Most of the early church were Jews. Jesus said He came initially only to serve Jews. Jesus said, “Salvation is from the Jews.”
This Christmas season we encourage the people of Hampton Roads to honor your Jewish neighbors. We encourage you to thank them for their courage, their incredible wisdom and for their generous forgiveness for all that non-Jews have done to them for over 2000 years.