The Importance of Weeping with Those Who Weep: Invitation to the Nations 9th of Av by Albert J. McCarn
August 04, 2019
In Romans 12:15, Paul exhorts us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. This is a basic requirement of humanity: treating others with dignity and respect regardless whether we like them or agree with them. Job’s friends taught us this lesson by simply sitting in silence with Job for several days while he processed his grief (Job 2:11-13). Their act of compassion opened the way for dialogue and for the Lord to work on the hearts of each man. They may not have understood Job’s grief, but they did see his deep hurt, and they knew the only way they could begin to help was to demonstrate their solidarity with him.
Could we do the same with our fellow servants of the God of Israel who also grieve? Every year, our Jewish brethren fast and mourn on four special days to remember the woes that have come upon them and on all Israel. These are the fasts of the 4th, 5th, 7th, and 10th months (17th of Tammuz, 9th of Av, Fast of Gedaliah, and 10th of Tevet)1. We from the Christian or Messianic side of the family have been oblivious to their national grief for far too long – even though we have been a primary cause of that grief. Although we have learned to appreciate the Feasts of the Lord and understand how they relate to our Messiah, until now few have made the effort to understand the days of sorrow Jews have observed for centuries.
The reason is simple: until now we have felt no connection to the Jewish people, and thus have seen no need to understand why they mourn. In recent years, our Father has burdened many Christians and Hebraic disciples of Yeshua around the world to address our connection with our Jewish brethren and their national grief. A very important development in that process happens this year at the 9th of Av, the Fast of the 5th month. It is called the Nations 9th of Av (https://9-av.com/), so named because Christians and Messianic believers are coming to Jerusalem to participate with Jews in this day of fasting and mourning on August 10-11. There will be a gathering on the walls of Jerusalem to read the book of Lamentations according to the Jewish tradition, and to pray in repentance. In addition, simultaneous solemn gatherings are planned in several locations. As of this writing, those locations are:
· Columbus, Ohio
· Kannapolis, North Carolina
· Brandon, Florida
· Plano and Arlington, Texas
· Wheat Ridge, Colorado
· Fullerton, LaHabra, and Cupertino, California
· Kansas City, Missouri
· Salford, England, UK
· Radlett, England, UK
· Sofia, Bulgaria
The Nations 9th of Av has received favorable attention from Orthodox Jews in Israel in that they recognize how far this could go in healing the breach between Christians and Jews.2 For those of us who are coming to understand our Hebraic identity as Ephraimites, this is doubly significant in that it brings us a step closer to the reconciliation of both Houses of Israel and the long-awaited Messianic Age. That is why BYNA is taking part. Several of our faithful intercessors will be in Jerusalem for the main gathering, but that is only one aspect of BYNA’s participation. In addition to the live events, BYNA is joining with the National Day of Repentance, the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, Phoenix Campus, Capitol Hill Prayer Partners, and Prayer Surge Now to facilitate a 26-hour prayer conference call from 6pm Eastern time on Saturday, August 10, to 8pm Eastern on Sunday, August 11.3 During the call, we will humbly step into a profound attitude of repentance as we address the centuries of persecution Jews have suffered at the hands of our Christian forefathers.
Are you sensing a call to be part of this process? Please consider prayerfully how you might participate in one of these events. To connect to the 9th of Av prayer call in the US, dial 515-604-9956 and, when prompted, enter access code 845011#. International callers may connect at numbers provided on this web page: · To connect to an Int’l 9-Av Phone Conference Call, click this link: https://9-av.com/connect-to-9th-of-av-phone-conference-call/
That link provides much important information about preparing to participate in the call. There is a 9th of Av fact sheet available for free download which explains what the day is all about. In addition, there are links to editions of the two documents we will refer to on the call: The LIST: Persecution of Jews by Christians Throughout History; and 40 Days of Repentance: Companion Guide to The LIST. Finally, there are focus guidelines and a declaration of repentance that all participants should know and agree to before dialing in.
It is time that we look at the fasts of Judah and see if there is a way to connect with our Jewish brethren in these times of reflective mourning. Who knows but that our Heavenly Father may be waiting for just that to do a wondrous work in all our hearts? Zechariah 8:18-23 says these four fasts will one day become days of joy, gladness, and cheerful feasting for the house of Judah. The Nations 9th of Av is a step toward fulfillment of that promise. Will you be part of the fulfillment?
For more information, please visit https://9-av.com/.
1 Explanations of these fast days are available at www.hebcal.com at these links: https://www.hebcal.com/holidays/tzom-tammuz
2 See for example the July 28, 2019 article by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Breaking Israel News, “Will Christian Repentance on the 9th of Av Help Bring Redemption?” (https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/134203/will-christian-repentance-9th-av-help-bring-redemption/).
3 BYNA’s 6-hour shift will be from Midnight Eastern/9pm Pacific to 6am Eastern/3am Pacific, with facilitation by Executive Director Al McCarn, Finance Director Marcus Bowman, Elder Ed Boring, Executive Secretary Julia Johnson, and Strategic Prayer Directors Ron & Candi Runyon.