Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Palm Sunday and Passover

These two holidays do not always coincide but this year they do. It was quiet in my neighbourhood today. Most of my neighbours are Jewish and Passover is one holiday that almost everyone observes with a seder or at least a family meal with some of the traditional elements included.
As for Palm Sunday, we didn't have palm branches but we did talk about the gates ( 7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Psalm 24).

Sunday evening I participated in a Palm Sunday Prayer Assembly at the Toronto Chinese Pentecostal Church down on Duncan Mills Road. It meets in a ten story office building and occupies most of the the first floor and the basement. Kind of an interesting concept. I took a couple of pictures of the space inside showing the pastor (Josephine Kok) leading our prayer time.

Dexter Quinlan ... also shared about the Global Day of Prayer coming up on the next major Jewish festival - Pentecost Sunday, May 27th, 2007 at the Ricoh Coliseum.

I had a chance to speak and spoke on the significance of Nehemiah to city wide prayer. I've included my main points below.

Who are the gatekeepers? - the people who live in the neighbourhood – the hands and feet of Jesus
a. Nehemiah – was concerned that the city walls and gates were broken down
Nehemiah 1
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire."
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said: 7 We have acted very wickedly toward youI was cupbearer to the king.
b. Went to Jerusalem and challenged and organized the people and everyone worked one beside the other
Chapter 2:17 Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.

c. Each one did his part
Chapter 3: 17 Next to him, the repairs were made by the Levites under Rehum son of Bani. Beside him, Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district. 18 Next to him, the repairs were made by their countrymen under Binnui [g] son of Henadad, ruler of the other half-district of Keilah. 19 Next to him, Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section, from a point facing the ascent to the armory as far as the angle. 20 Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest. 21 Next to him, Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired another section, from the entrance of Eliashib's house to the end of it.

d. Satan is disturbed when we take our position and exercise our authority
Chapter 2: 10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.

e. Expect opposition and ridicule
Chapter 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. "What is this you are doing?" they asked. "Are you rebelling against the king?"

f. Satan has no part of the city
Chapter 2:20 I answered them by saying, "The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it."

g. Fight on behalf of your families – motivation is to be moved with compassion
"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

h. Guard the territory given you
Chapter 4: 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

i. Call out for help – respond to others calls for help when attacked
4:19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!"

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