Christine Darg Reading Lamentations on the 9th of Av
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.” Zechariah 8: 19
By Christine Darg, Jerusalem Channel
This week we were privileged to participate in another milestone along the timeline of Jewish and Christian reconciliation.
A 9th of Av convocation was sponsored by our friends at Root Source
, and the event acknowledged Christianity’s persecution of the Jews. Delegates from around the world prayed for forgiveness for replacement theology—all of this occurring on one of Judaism’s very serious fast days when many calamities befell the Jewish people, including the destruction of both temples.
Christians fasted and prayed alongside our Jewish elders and patriarchs for 24 hours. This was historic, unprecedented.
My journey with Israel began when both Israel and I were 27 years old, and I’ve seen much progression in the repairing of the breach between Jews and Christians. The People of the Book are coming together, and this is a wonder that the Almighty is orchestrating. That he graciously deems to use any of us in his Plan is a personal miracle. About a decade ago, the Spirit of God began to speak to me always to be present in Israel as a watchman on the 9th of Av fast day in order to watch Zechariah 8: 19 unfold. We are living in an appointed season also described beautifully in Psalm 126,
A Song of Ascents.
When the LORD restored the captives of Zion,
we were like dreamers.
Then our mouths were filled with laughter
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are filled with joy.
Restore our captives,O LORD,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with shouts of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
bearing a trail of seed,
will surely return with shouts of joy,
carrying sheaves of grain.
As Ecclesiastes 3: 4 also states, there is
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Gidon Ariel and Bob O’Dell, co-founders of Root Source, led us in a proclamation at the end of the fast: ‘Next Year in Rebuilt Jerusalem!’
Rabbi Tuly Weiz of Breaking Israel News told the delegates that our contrition is perhaps the missing key or missing link to Zechariah 8: 19, this verse that describes how the Jewish days of mourning and fasting will be transformed by the Almighty into days of feasting.
The leader of the Nation’s 9th of Av initiative, Bob O’Dell,
is co-founder of Root Source
, a web-based organisation that facilitates Israeli Jews to teach Christians worldwide about the Hebraic roots of our faith. Bob co-authored a thick book called “The LIST”
whose publication was timed to coincide with the convocation, and The LIST documents atrocities committed by the institutional churches against Jews throughout history. I was privileged to contribute to a prayer and study guide, 40 Days of Repentance: A Companion Guide to The LIST.
Particularly moving was our opportunity to sit on the ground the evening of Tisha B’Av to participate in the reading of the Book of Lamentations, recited in an impassioned chant by Rabbi Chaim Eisen, at the Promenade park overlooking the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. The Jewish people always sit low as they humble themselves, remembering the litany of calamities that befell them on this ominous day.
How tragic that the only information many Jews for centuries heard about Christianity were the themes recalled in synagogues on the 9th of Av–elegies of atrocities committed against them by Christendom!
On that score, we Christians prayerfully entered into the fellowship of the sufferings of King Messiah, not only because of his rejection, but also because he has been so horribly misrepresented to his people by the Church through the centuries.
And yet the prophetic Word predicts that in the last days God will restore the Davidic Kingdom, and all days of sorrow and mourning will be exchanged for peace, joy and feasting.
Meanwhile, on the 9th of Av repentance services were held simultaneously around the world and delegates were invited to participate by telephone.
This report from the Philippines is especially interesting:
Following on Tisha B’Av, August 11, “today August 12 and Eidl Adha (the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice). Let’s repent on behalf of the government and the whole Philippines for this holiday. Philippines is made to observe a lie because this feast of sacrifice replaces the truth of the Bible and Torah where God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac at Mt. Moriah. The Eidl Adha celebrates the sacrifice of Ismael by Ibrahim. Let’s not be silent. Let’s pray to the Lord that this lie will be exposed and … we don’t join and we repent for the lie, in Jesus’ mighty name. May our Lord God forgive the sin of the peoples and heal our land at this point in time.”