“Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain!” Joel 2:1a (ESV)

We are about to step into the year of the open door! I want to encourage you to prepare yourself for it! This Friday, September 15, is Rosh Hashanah which is the Jewish New Year – 5784. Then we head right into 10 Days of Awe, where there is fasting, prayer, repentance and seeking reconciliation wherever it is needed. These ten days are a time to ask forgiveness of any friends or family that you have wronged. The bottom line, these ten days are a time of serious introspection, a time to consider the mistakes you’ve made during the year and repent before Yom Kippur. Then on September 24 (at sunset) we step into Yom Kippur, which is the holiest day of the Jewish year. We also know it as the Day of Atonement. This is a day of solemn assembly, when the fast of the previous ten days is broken with a celebration for the covering of our sins! Our Jewish brothers and sisters have very specific requirements to observe. Feel free to dig in a bit more and research it yourself.

We no longer NEED to observe this because Jesus is the sacrifice for our sin, once and for all. Jesus is our final atonement! Nevertheless, this provides a great opportunity to join in our Jewish spiritual heritage and be intentional about these spiritual realities – fasting, prayerful introspection, repentance, seeking forgiveness and reconciliation – plus considering what Jesus has provided through His atoning death. By observing the Jewish New Year and all that goes with it, we position ourselves to enter our New Year, 2024, to receive all the blessings God wants to pour out on us at this time. There is so much He is about to release in and over your life. We actually get to step into our New Year three months ahead of the rest the world. God is giving us a head start! I encourage you, take this ten-day period to join us fasting and praying as the Lord leads you. Ask Him what you are to fast during this period of time. Seek reconciliation wherever it is needed! Take time each day to ask the Lord to search and reveal any and every sin that you have not confessed, to show you any relationships that you need to make right and then quickly repent or reconcile as He leads you.

If you are in the Athens area, please consider joining us for our AHOP Community gathering on Sunday, September 24, as we conclude this holy season with a solemn assembly, a time of worship and meal together. It starts at 4:30pm. If you are able to join us, please let us know so we can cater for everyone. RSVP at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeeNHZErBAkpn-GGLZs18skdVQxmjHB2dL4HoMN9QG2MYunmA/viewform?pli=1

We are about to step into the year of the open door. May the Lord prepare you to step through every door that He opens, with boldness and grace. Prepare to receive all that He has prepared for you! The Lord God Almighty has brought you here, placed you right where He wants you, for such a time as this! Get ready for it! The year of the open door is upon us!!!