Celebrating Jesus’ Birthday
Week 29, year 2! (Sunday-Shabbat)
by Christine Darg
Celebrating Messiah’s birth at the accurate season is something the Lord has been challenging our ministry to stage for many years—also because of the sheer commercialism and paganism of Christmas. For example, Father Christmas, aka Santa Claus, is generally believed to be a hybrid character of elements from St. Nicholas, who had a reputation for secret gift giving, and pagan mythology. The date 25th December to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus has never been universally accepted. The Eastern Church celebrates the Nativity on 6th January. According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, by the end of the 5th Century, most of the Western Church had adopted 25th December but 25th December has never been considered accurate; rather, it is the date when pagans celebrated the rebirth of the sun. It is far more likely that Jesus was born during the Feast of Tabernacles. What Biblical grounds do we have for making this statement? Luke 1:5 tells us of the advent of John the Baptist. His father Zechariah, was on duty in the Temple when Zechariah was visited by Gabriel, the angel of the Lord. If we assume that the priests did their two weeks on duty “back to back,” theologians tell us precisely what time of the year this happened. Luke states that Zechariah’s division of the priesthood was that of Abijah.
Why does Luke want us to know this seemingly irrelevant detail? No detail is in Scripture by accident. If we turn to 1 Chronicles 24 verse 10, we read the sequence when each of the divisions took their turns on temple duty, and discover that Abijah’s division had the eighth lot—meaning the second part of the fourth month of the Jewish religious year on the Hebraic calendar. There are two New Years for the Jews, one civil and one religious; the religious year begins with the month Nisan, (March-April), and it was this calendar—the Religious Year—that was used in apportioning the lots for Temple service.
If the first lot fell in mid-March, Abijah’s eighth lot fell halfway through the fourth month—mid-July to mid-August, when Zechariah was on duty. Luke obviously wants us to know when Zechariah was on duty. Zechariah finished his course of duty. He then returned to his home in Ein Kerem and after his four days of abstinence as dictated by the Law, Elizabeth conceived their son. Theologians calculate that it is now day 116 of the religious year—and Elizabeth conceives John immediately since this is a divinely inspired conception.
How is it that Luke knows these details about Elizabeth’s pregnancy and Mary’s conception of our Lord? Could it be that, as a physician, he interviewed Mary before writing his Gospel account? During the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel in Nazareth to the Virgin Mary, to assure Mary that she is not delusional, the Gabriel drops this extraordinary bit of reassuring information, “Even Elizabeth your relative, who was said to be barren, is in her sixth month.” Therefore it was in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy that the Virgin Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who announced that she would be overshadowed by the Holy Ghost to conceive and bear a son, and she should call Him Jesus (Yeshua). Another but greater baby miracle transpired—a virgin conceived to bear a son as prophesied in Isaiah 7:14.
Since Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit when Elizabeth was in the sixth month of her pregnancy—according to the theologians’ calculations, the Incarnation would have been in December! So Jesus was not born on 25th December, but rather he was conceived around or near the time of December during Hannukah—the Feast of Lights. December is when the Light of the World entered into this world in Nazareth. Therefore it is likely that at Hannukah, the Feast of Dedication, the Son of God, who existed before all things, dedicated Himself to be our Atoning Sacrifice, and took flesh, to be incarcerated for nine months in a virgin’s womb. Conception is when life begins!
Nine months later, our Lord was actually born in September-October, the time of the Fall festival of the Feast of Tabernacles. Perhaps John 1:14 has this in mind, “And the word became flesh and tabernacled among us…” And that is why the shepherds were watching over their flocks by night in the still relatively balmy evenings of the Promised Land!
“LORD, Jesus, You are our Savior! Thank You for Your coming into our hearts and lives! Thank You for loving us! Father, we ask that You set the captives free! Lift the spirit of heaviness that is on many of our loved ones. Bless them with Your outlook on the difficult situations which they are facing. Heal Maxine’s brother in law, Paul, Joe, Lori, Bonnie, John, Connie – and those who are struggling with health issues. We continue to pray for financial intervention – help each of us to be totally debt-free. Be with our Phyllis as she begins her new life in Ohio – give her a great big hug from us! Be with Natan, PJ, and all our soldiers. Thank You for having brought PJ and Natan home from another deployment. Bless them with financial miracles! Touch the families of our loved ones. Heal their emotions; bring them together. We pray for revival in our country and in Your country; bring Your peace to Your holy City. In Your precious and loving Name, we ask these things.”
IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests:
1. PROTECTION FOR ISRAEL – God’s will bring His peace to J’lem and all of Israel.
2. REVIVAL IN AMERICA!
3. FAMILIES – FAMILIES – FAMILIES: God will bring families together. Spirit of division will cease.
4. Lori: new job and healing.
5. Bruce (Maxine’s brother in law): prostate and thyroid cancer. Healing and revelation of the Messiah.
6. Bonnie: healing, vitality – no more health issues
7. Joe: healing
8. Paul: total restoration: back pain, pneumonia and mucus plug to leave! Back pain is still excruciating. Will be at HealthSouth until 12/27.
9. Connie: healing
10. Art: blessings and anointing on Art’s Christmas card and banana bread outreach.
11. Dan (Art’s son): job interview – favor, wisdom, he gets job! Also, prayer for his desire to mend his marriage.
12. John: believers have wisdom how to best help John.
13. Isaiah (Phyllis’ grandson): emotional healing and physical protection from bullies. That You will give him a heart of compassion and a desire to serve You all of his days. That he will have favor & excitement when he goes to his new school after their move. Phyllis also requests prayer for the bullies.
14. Daughter (Debbie & Dennis): wisdom regarding employment.
15. Dennis: wisdom concerning early retirement.
16. Murray: broken foot; god-son to be re-fucused.
17. Phyllis & families’ moves into their new homes will be easy. In prayer, we know there is no distance: we pray that God will bless their homes and cleanse them of anything contrary to His Word.
18. John: healing.
19. Joan, Bonnie, & Connie: healing and ordering of their footsteps for treatment.
20. Bonnie: emotional healing from sister-in-law’s death.
21. Niece (Bonnie): healing for 4-yr old’s body.
22. Connie: new place to live; victory in her life. Son to move to Tucson.
23. Aunt (Jeannette): fell and hit head; airlifted to El Paso; healing and salvation.
24. Leonard (Phyllis brother): kidney action to be resumed; doctors to determine problem.
25. Family members who are far off will return and serve God.
26. Families to serve God.
27. Power to overcome temptations.
28. David (Bev & Ruben): repentance, deliverance.
29. Brother (Bev): healing from massive heart attack and salvation
30. God son (Doc): attitude change; wisdom for Doc.
31. Amy, Debbie, Charity (Debbie & Dennis): prayer for resolving emotional scars of past which are affecting extended family relationships.
32. Nephew (Bev & Ruben): Believer diagnosed with leukemia.
33. Friend (Norman G): able to conceive a child
34. New jobs for those in need.
35. Favor, peace, and wisdom in the work place.
36. Dawn’s daughter and grandson: accident. Both cars totaled; hallelujah: they were not hurt but badly shaken.
37. Chantell: new job
38. Joanne (Dawn): 84 yrs and not well. Please pray for her salvation
39. Laura (Norman G): unspoken; prayer for Steven as he begins life since his wife’s death
40. Maxine, Bonnie, Jim, Joe, Deb, John, Phyllis, and all others: pain-free, energy, healing, and vitality.
41. Brother (Murray): healing spiritually and physically.
42. Ron (Debbie & Dennis): light stroke; no apparent damage; air lifted to UMC. Prayer for total restoration.
43. PJ & Tracy: house and finances.
44. Son (Les’a’s co-worker’s son): healing and motivation
45. Adriana (Yvonne’s sister): continued emotional healing.
46. Krinskys: sale of home and moving mercies
47. Natan and Chantell: finances and transition into ‘normal God-centered life’
48. Natan: PTSD – transition home and all will quickly “be on the same page”
49. Son (John): divorce and custody, know the God of his father
50. John: correct medicine will be prescribed and there will be no side effects
51. Families: please pray that God will intervene and bring His peace and righteousness to these families.
52. Uncle (Deb): cancer
53. Father (Deb): seek medical needed medical assistance to be able to regain mobility
54. Friends and family (Deb): close relationship with the Messiah
55. Rhonda: stress & car issues.
56. Unspoken: spiritual battles. Pray that His love & truth will prevail.
57. Jobs (Dawn’s ‘grandson’, Debbie’s daughter, Betty, Art’s son, Les’a and Don’s daughter in law): favor and wisdom. God will open the doors to jobs where they can prosper (emotionally, physically, and financially)
58. Pamela & Norman: finances. That we ALL will be debt-free by 12/31/2012!
59. Heather (Tracy & FaceBook): coma due to brain aneurism; she awakens
60. Bonnie: work comes early in the week – with no technical difficulties.
61. Tere: 2-year legal proceeding regarding mother’s care to come to a close quickly. And with a positive outcome.
62. Tsilla (Debbie): depression
63. Prayer for our soldiers: spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally whole!
64. Jordan (Les’a & Don): Navy Sailor – prayer for him & his family.
65. Kyle (Yvonne’s son): heart to the Lord – heaviness of depression to lift.
66. Debbie & Dennis (& us all!!): God will lead and guide our footsteps and use us to minister to others.
67. Cynthia: lawsuit against her parents and their food bank ministry. Pray suit will be dropped & healing will result.
68. Isabel Mercedes Celis (6-year old Tucson girl who was abducted April 21): pray for safety and return to her family.
Read ALL He is doing this year through prayer!
· Joan (Les’a’s mom): great report from spinal doctor. Physical therapy is immediate direction, rather than surgery – a true answer to her prayers!
· Maxine: out of the hospital and doing well. feeling soo much better! Did not have any compressions fractures!
· Bonnie: survived a 7-hour heart attack! And with only minor heart damage! And, He has granted her heart’s desire: she will not have open heart surgery! Out of the hospital – her doc was amazed at how much better she looked than she had 3 weeks before!
· Bev & Ruben: huge answers to prayer. Pray David follows thru with his direction.
· Phyllis & family arrived in Ohio. They had a good trip! Nevertheless, we miss her! Danielle was able to purchase a beautiful double-wide home. Phyllis is going to service Sat!!
· Connie: found a new home!
· Granddaughter (Betty & Harold): born healthy!
· Rudy (Les’a’s friend’s son): cracked skull resulting in major mental complications – improvement and is able to have work. His mother is grateful for the prayers and is amazed at his healing.
· Rhonda & Norm: the Lord brought order out of chaos!
· Paul: even little setbacks, God uses! Paul is back at HealthSouth!
· Nephew (Les’a): serious auto accident with car’s being totaled. His outlook is great!
· Maxine: trip was fantastic!
· Krinskys: home has sold and they are getting ready to move.
· Interviews (Dawn’s ‘grandson’ and Debbie’s daughter): God to open doors to jobs
· David (Bev & Ruben): he is fulfilling court obligations. Pray for total deliverance and repentance.
· Danielle (Phyllis): excellent report – no cancer!
· Somewhat estranged son (John): initiated a visit!! Visit was good!
· Phyllis: feeling better!
· Lord is orchestrating timing!
· Becca (Tracy’s friend): surgery successful and, after a month in physical therapy, is able to go home! Prayer for salvation.
· Tere: trip was amazing!
· Danielle (Phyllis’ daughter): surgery successful – no malignancy. Doing amazingly!!!
· Jim’s nephew: able to return to work in record time!! (accident and all facial bones, except jaw, were broken.)
· Steve (Pamela’s friend): successful surgery & desire to be discipled.
· PJ: truth verified regarding his physical situation.
· Yom Kippur fast: several commented this was their first fast & it was very special.
· Janet: during Yom Kippur fast received word that her art was accepted in a festival!
· Maxine & Joe: trip was refreshing.
· Leonard (Phyllis’ brother) is out of the hospital!
· Jim: trip was fruitful.
· Pamela: strained back: able to work.
· John (Phyllis): going to AA everyday and is determined to make good decisions. He and his wife are speaking!! Hallelujah!!
· Harold: a fantastic word about his new job!!! TYJ!
· Maxine’s baptism: amazing and refreshing for all – especially her!
· Debbie’s and Dennis’ trips to see families: very good.
· Deb: trip to ABQ to see father, was very specialtime & experiences during visit, & seeds of love, devotion, & hope were planted.
· Daughter (Tere): successful out-patient surgery to remove fatty tissue cyst on leg.
· Joe: procedure: revealed no problems! Prayers they determine what is causing him the pain.
· Ramon (Krinskys): PSA count went from 4.0 to 0.0!! Doctor was extremely pleased and said he didn’t need to see him for 6 months.
· Bob (Maxine & Joe’s friend): excellent report from Mayo Clinic– cancer is in remission!!!
· Adriana (Yvonne’s sister): appears to continue doing better. Prayers that she continues with treatment.
· Betty& Harold: new jobs!
· Les’a & Don: God healed our water softener – repairman asked his Bible study to agree with himJ
· Family members are opening to the Word and prayer!
· Matthew (Frank): decided to stay in rehab!! Pray for total deliverance.
· Frank’s trip: good report
· Olympic Runner Paul Ryan: announces God is his coach
· Gabby Douglas: gives God glory for her Olympic gold medals in gymnastics.
· Many little signs of His involvement in various situations all week – He is continuing to move – and we get to be part!!!!! Yes, we are His elite soldiers!
· Jeff (Paul & Lynn’s son): GRE tests went very well!
· Jeannette: camping was trip great with unexpected blessings.
· Sylvia Powell (friend of Jeannette): family adjusting well without her.
· Suzi (Jeannette’s friend): recovering from knee replacement – pray for continued healing.
· Hawkins (soldier friend of Natan’s who was hurt in explosion in Afghanistan): he is doing well.
· Infant Maxwell (parents are missionaries to Poland): 10 weeks old and over 12 pounds. Still tired and sleeps nearly all day, but nursing well. Pray his heart shows improvement, so he can go off meds. The family is “forever and a day grateful that you prayed for his life!”
· Norman G: finished back taxes!
· Bonnie: huge blessing regarding work hours.
· Maxine: pain-free
· Maxine & Joe: trip was fantastic
· Marita: “Prayer Tools on your website is very popular.” It is being read in Israel, South Africa & France and is being translated into Spanish!!! May His Word continue to go forth!
· Brian (Paul): received the Lord! Pray Brian turns to God for comfort during his grieving.
· Men’s meeting: good food; great fellowship; interesting discussion. – if you’re a guy, don’t miss the next meeting!
· Operation Jericho answers are coming!
· Lori received medical report showing improvement!! Pray for 100% healing.
· Natan returned from 3rd deployment.
· Jim received an excellent report from doctor!!!
· Bonnie: mechanical miracle with medical device – huge blessing!
· God again spared Natan and others from insidious attacks by the enemy – an explosion was only 40 meters away. (As Natan put it, had it been closer it would have been a ‘bad day’!)
· Quinton (Art’s grandson): born healthy!
· Family reunions continue to occur – pray that they will all be joyous!! To date, good reports from all reunions!!
· Lori (Norman G’s daughter): approval at new job. Please pray for housing.
· Pamela and Norman: have work – hallelujah! Let us pray they have divine appointments– & full schedules!
· Friend (Dawn): Court ruled earthly justice. Pray for emotional and spiritual healing for all.
· Bonnie: family visit was excellent
· Don: trip for his mom’s 90th bday was terrific!
· Les’a: unexpected financial blessing (insurance company suddenly paid 100% of $219 vaccine, which previously they would said they would not!) TYL! – let us continue to pray we will all be debt-free, except for housing, by the end of 2012.
· Lynn Mann: healing from foot surgery.
Families (all of our families):
- To be whole and walk in the ways of the Lord!
- God to continue strengthening and building family relationships!
- Josiah D: favor, protection & a heart like King David.
- God would bring godly helpmates and partners in ministry: T (Les’a & Don’s friend & a man of God), Cynthia, etc.
- Marita (in Israel): prayer for total healing from kidney stones. She does much for the Kingdom!
- Jeff & Paul (Paul & Lynn Mann): healing from knee surgeries.
- Krys (Les’a’s co-worker’s husband): serious problems caused by Parkinson's.
- Susie (Bonnie): from previous cervical fusion, one of the screws started migrating and was pushing at her esophagus threatening a puncture. Prayer for recovery from surgery and acceptance of Jesus.
- Bud (Tracy’s father): continued healing; insurance issues resolved.
- Bonnie: healing with oxygen levels.
- Christopher & Liz (Maxine): she has ovarian cancer, resulting in financial problems. Pray for encouragement.
- Bob & Pat (Maxine & Joe): healing.
Call to Prayer intercessors:
- Debt-free by the end of 2012!
- Intercessors for The Call To Prayer: wisdom and tenacity to continue on to see victory!
- Favor & wisdom in the work force: We would be excellent in the work place – even as Joseph, Daniel, etc. were – blessings to the companies because we are there!
- Deb and all those who not listedGod will give them fulfilling & rewarding employment where they will have great favor!
Relationship with our Lord:
- 5 grandchildren (Debbie & Dennis): to know the salvation and love of Yeshua.
- David (Bev & Ruben): his mom’s request “he quickly come to the end of himself and look up. Protection for him and all of his family.” Warfare is intense.
- Keith (Dawn’s grandson): come to the God of his parents and grandmother
- The hearts of Americans: turn to God! Our land will be healed.
- Peace of Jerusalem!
- Natan (Les’a and Don’s son and his family) & our soldiers:
- Pray for wisdom, accuracy, and knowledge. God will bring them home whole: spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. And God will be with their families.
- God’s wisdom, power, anointing, and favor.
PRAYERS OF THE RIGHTEOUS BRING GREAT RESULTS:read a summation of what our LORDdid last year!!
1. He has miraculously saved lives physically and spiritually.
2. He has healed many from surgeries and sicknesses.
3. He intervened and a 7-week premature baby was born healthy and continues to thrive a year later.
4. He is mending many, manyfamily relationships.
5. He opened doors where there were none.
6. He has provided many with employment.
7. He has touched finances.
8. He has protected our soldier.
9. He has taught us to be consistent and persevering in prayer.
On the website are specific answers from year 1 of Call To Prayer.