26 May 2012

Shavu-what?

It’s called Shavuot, Pentecost, the Feast of Harvest, Weeks and First Fruits.  So what, just exactly, are we celebrating??

Its origins can be found as we read Exodus 23 and Leviticus 23.  On the Jewish Calendar, this year the feast starts at sundown on the 26th, and concludes at sundown on the 27th May.  It is exactly 50 days (7 weeks) from Pesach/Passover – hence the name Shavuot, simply translated from the Hebrew as Weeks.  It is a time to thank God for his blessing and abundance and to rejoice over the final grain harvest which would see the children of Israel through till the next season.

Historically, it is also the day that God gave the law to Moses on Mt Sinai - at Pesach the Israelites were freed from their slavery in Egypt, and  50 days/7 weeks later at Shavuot, they were given the law and became a nation committed to serving God.

Additionally, this feast is one of the three chief feasts when God required the people to come up to Jerusalem to give their offerings each year, so it was a time of pilgrimage and sanctification for the whole harvest as well. 

19 May 2012

Jerusalem: City of Peace

In June 1967, a divided Jerusalem was reunited and came under Jewish control for the first time since the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD. The reunification is celebrated each year on the Hebrew date Iyar 28 (20th May 2012). Known as Jerusalem Day, the event is marked with joy and celebration. The city streets burst full of young people waving flags, singing and dancing.

Is there another city that has seen so many wars and been attacked by so many nations throughout history? Jerusalem, the place God chose to make his dwelling place is the most contested piece of real estate in the world! Jerusalem means 'city of peace' in the Hebrew language, but historically, peace was not often found within its walls. There is no doubt though, that according to the Bible, this ancient city holds a very special place in God's heart and his eternal plans for her are solid. 

12 May 2012

A noble motto: "I Serve"


In today's secular culture of instant celebrity and success, the idea of dedicating your life to serve your country seems out of place to many. There are few role models in the public sphere that promote such an ideal. On the other hand, as the United Kingdom stops to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of their monarch, her long years of faithful service to the nation and the Commonwealth stand out as a beacon.

On the occasion of her 21st birthday, Princess Elizabeth, aware of the solemn responsibility that would be hers, made a radio broadcast to the Commonwealth in which she committed her life to the service of her people. Her sense of personal duty and the hope that together we can make the world a better place, are inspiring. Before the nation, she also acknowledged the one from whom her help would come: the King of Kings. 
"If we all go forward together with an unwavering faith, a high courage, and a quiet heart, we shall be able to make of this ancient commonwealth, which we all love so dearly, an even grander thing - more free, more prosperous, more happy and a more powerful influence for good in the world - than it has been in the greatest days of our forefathers. To accomplish that we must give nothing less than the whole of ourselves. There is a motto which has been borne by many of my ancestors - a noble motto, "I serve". Those words were an inspiration to many bygone heirs to the Throne when they made their knightly dedication as they came to manhood. I cannot do quite as they did. But through the inventions of science I can do what was not possible for any of them. I can make my solemn act of dedication with a whole Empire listening. I should like to make that dedication now. It is very simple.

05 May 2012

Distributing Love and Hope


Your People My People staff have been involved with the work of Agape Distribution Centre for many years.  They have consistently given food, clothing, love and support to hundreds of people in Tel Aviv, regardless of race or religion, and because of their labours, have seen souls come into the Kingdom through sharing the hope of Yeshua the Messiah.

Here is a recent report from their base in the centre of the big city:

“Passover, also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, commemorates the Exodus, a time when God delivered the Jewish people from their enslavement in Egypt before bringing them to the Promised Land. As Messianic Jews, we are also reminded that it was during Passover that Yeshua ate his last supper, bore our sins, died, was buried, and resurrected. He is the Lamb of God whose blood has redeemed all mankind from our sin and iniquity and has brought us salvation and freedom. Praise the Lord!