9th of Av - Tisha B'Av
The Nations’ 9th of Av will be leading 27hrs of prayer. A link to their zoom meeting will be made available here in the *Outer Court of the Altar of Prayer, on July 26 - 27 to observe the Fast of the Fifth Month. The event begins on Wednesday July 26 at 6pm JT (11 am EDT) and continues through till 7:30pm JT (12:30 pm EDT) on July 27.
*Please note: The main prayer meeting at Altar of Prayer will continue without interruption and will not be altered during this day. This is a separate meeting in addition to our normal prayer watches and this particular meeting is open to ALL and not just those registered with AOP.
Being Sad Together
Dean Bye and Grandson Evan
What is the 9th of Av (Tisha B'Av)?
Both the First and Second Temples were destroyed on that day, and many other disasters fell on the Jewish people on or near the 9th of Av (Fifth month on the Hebrew calendar) – including expulsion from Spain in 1492 and the onset of the Shoa (Holocaust) in 1941. These continuous disasters make the 9th of Av the saddest day on the Jewish calendar and have induced a day of fasting and mourning.
Learning and participating in God’s appointed Feasts Days on the Biblical Hebrew calendar is vital for us to celebrate with and pray for God’s Covenant Jewish people here on Altar of Prayer. Although the 9th of Av is not an appointed Feast Day, we do, however, see the importance of embracing what has grieved the hearts of our Jewish kin as well. We may know why they feast, but do we know when they fast, and why?
Why is this also important to Christians? Because for the last two millennia, much of the suffering of the Jewish people has come through people acting in the name of Jesus Christ. Whether done in ignorance or intentionally, the wounds are with us all to this day – wounds that separate people who should be lifting each other up because of our mutual adoration of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Zechariah 8:19 speaks of this fast in the fifth month when he says: “Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts.”
Wait! – is this passage saying those seasons of fasting and mourning will turn into joyful feasts? Yes, it is! According to Lev 26 and other similar passages God’s promise was fulfilled that these disasters and dispersion would take place if Israel disobeyed God’s commandment. However, alongside this promise is a promise of hope to return and restore His Jewish people back to their land, turning their mourning into dancing. What incredible times we are living in as we not only have opportunity to identify with our Jewish friends in their mourning but also recognize a transition of joy and feasting as they return and are being restored to their land.
As Christians, there are significant ways we can begin to embrace our Jewish family during the 9th of Av: we can learn about these fast days and join our Jewish brethren in observing them. We can enter a place of seeking repentance for the Church’s horrific role by its persecution of the Jews. But also, in a strong way begin to rejoice with the Jewish people that within the comfort a hope of restoration is being realized. You have and opportunity to do just this very thing as on July 26 & 27 as the Nations’ 9th of Av will be leading a time of prayer, teaching a worship inviting our Jewish friends to join. Zechariah says in those days ten from the nations will take hold of the garment of a Jew and say, “Let us go with you [to Jerusalem to seek the Lord of hosts], for we have heard that God is with you.” (Zechariah 8:18-23)
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."