Yom Kippur –The Holiest Day of the Biblical year, aside from Shabbat — is here!!!
Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict [deny, humble yourselves, fast] yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD,” Leviticus 23:27-28. ESV.
“This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you,” Lev 16:29 NASB
“Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land,” Leviticus 25:9, ESV.
Each of the fall festivals has its own flavor.
- Yom Teru’ah/Rosh Hashanah is a very special celebration; a time of anticipation & excitement. A time of new beginnings.
- The 10 days between Yom Teru’ah/Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the days of final preparation for the solemn Yom Kippur. These 10 days are called the Days of Awe.
- We may ask, what is “awe”? Remember how our nation was after 9/11? There was a hush, a reverence, over the land. The solemnity we felt after 9/11 will pale compared to what we will experience when we stand before our King.
- Yom Kippur is a solemn holiday. In the Torah (Lev 16; etc) we read that Yom Kippur was the only time the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies and call upon the Name of YHVH to offer blood sacrifice for the sins of the people.
- Sukkot is a holiday of joy. (We’ll discuss more about Sukkot in next week’s Call To Prayer.)
For weeks, throughout the month of Elul, we have been preparing ourselves for Yom Teru’ah and Yom Kippur. We have looked at ourselves introspectively. We have interceded. We have fasted. We have seen G-d, our Heavenly Commander in Chief, answer our entreaties. As we conclude these days of preparation for Yom Kippur, let us ponder Yom Kippur’s being the rehearsal of the Great Day of Judgment.
Friday evening begins the Yom Kippur fast. Many wonder: how should I fast. Orthodox Jews do not eat or drink for the 25 hours. Others, with health challenges, cannot fast at all. However, we encourage everyone to give up at least a favorite food. Personally, we drink only water and thin liquids during this fast. Yom Kippur is not only a memorial but also a dress rehearsal for the Day of Judgment when we will all appear before HaShem and all things hidden will be exposed.
Use this holy day to help ‘clean up our acts’ spiritually. To reflect on His intervention in our lives. To seek God. To pray for others, for our families, our nation, and Israel. Remember others depend upon our prayers!!
Exercise: greet one another with “Tzom Kal!” (In English: “May your fast be easy – and may your day special before Him!”)
“O, Lord, our God, how majestic are You! Thank You for these days of preparation, of Teshuvah. Help us to seek You with more passion, to walk more fully in Your presence. Bring Your healing touch to our country – we continuously beseech You to turn the hearts of Americans to You. Turn Israelis to You – heal Israel, bring Your peace to Your land. Prepare the hearts and minds of Your followers for Yom Kippur. We love You, Lord. In the precious Name of our soon-coming Messiah, we pray.”
IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests:
- Houston – the US!!!
- Pray for America.
- USA: Wisdom for our leadership and their health, their direction. Prayer for their safety.
- Israel: peace and righteousness.
- Protection of the persecuted church.
- Connie: healing – total healing!
- Jim: total healing and recovery. That he will be pain-free.
- Tere: healing!
- Paul Mann: total restoration.
- Young Grandson (Mary & Joe Benton): healing miracle! Tumor to shrink.