This month Jerusalem will be celebrating 50 years since the reunification of the city in 1967. Jerusalem—the name reverberates throughout history! Everyone knows of this ancient city. Jerusalem was made the capital of Israel over 3,000 years ago by King David. Did you know that Jerusalem has never been the capital city of any other nation? Jerusalem has always been important to the Jewish people. Christianity was born in Jerusalem. Hundreds of years later it also became important to the Muslim faith. The city is mentioned 881 times in the Bible. Jerusalem is important to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
In May 1948 Israel became a nation and immediately faced war. Israel won the war, but lost half of Jerusalem, which was taken by the Jordanians. For the next 19 years the city was divided. Access to the holy sites, both Jewish and Christian, was limited. A no-man’s land ripped a jagged scar through the center of the city. Today buildings along this seam are still marked with bullet holes that bear witness to the dangers faced during these 19 years. Then in 1967 Israel again was at war, fighting on multiple fronts, including in Jerusalem. At the end of the Six Day War, Jerusalem was once again in Israeli hands. The Jewish people rejoiced. As a Christian I am also thankful to have free and easy access to the Old City, the site of the Temple Mount where many of the events immortalized in the Bible took place.
This month, the vibrant city will come alive with parties, dancing and laughter as her residents celebrate. Local neighborhoods as well as the city center will be full of Israelis parading through the streets. They will be wearing blue and white as they dance and sing their way to the Western Wall. They will rejoice with Jerusalem! They will rejoice that they have free access to the Western Wall, a retaining wall of the Temple—the site of constant prayer.
“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice with joy with her, all you who mourn with her; that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus says the LORD: ‘Behold I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; on her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isa. 66:10–13 emphasis added).
We are encouraging Christians all over the world to rejoice with Jerusalem. Come to Jerusalem if you can, but if you can’t—rejoice wherever you are. Yes, you can participate in the festivities without ever leaving home. Bridges for Peace is sponsoring a worldwide celebration and we invite you to join us by hosting a “Rejoice with Jerusalem” party between May 24 and June 7. We will provide everything you need to get started: ideas, songs, dances, recipes, decorations and even more. So invite your friends, your prayer group or have a party at your church. The possibilities are endless. Register for your free party pack at www.rejoicejerusalem.com. However you choose to celebrate, remember to rejoice! This is Jerusalem’s very own jubilee and God is calling us to be a part of it.
As Christians we are joining the Jewish people in recognizing Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel; the city where the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has chosen to place His name forever. So have a party, make a statement and join Christians around the world as we rejoice with Jerusalem.
In Scripture, Jerusalem was the destination for all Jewish men three times a year (Passover, Pentecost and Feast of Tabernacles). Everyone would come to Jerusalem to rejoice, to pray, to fellowship and to bring an offering. We want to bless Jerusalem as a way to rejoice with her. We want to bring “the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream!” We encourage you send a financial gift to bless Jerusalem from the Christian world.
We will be purchasing medi-cycles with the money we receive. We are believing for funds to purchase several medi-cycles. Our goal for this project is US $200,000. These mobile units can reach the sick, and injured much more quickly than a standard ambulance. They are able to weave their way through traffic rapidly and save many lives through their timely arrival. These medi-cycles help people from all walks of life: rich, poor, young, old, Jew, Christian, Muslim! What a way to show to all the peoples of Jerusalem that you care.
Your generous gift will bless Jerusalem, save lives and be a fulfillment of Isaiah 66. Like a flowing stream, these medi-cycles will bring life and medical care to a constant stream of Jerusalemites.
Rejoice with Jerusalem!
Rebecca J. Brimmer
International President and CEO
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