Honoring Yom Kippur as a Believer in Messiah

What it looks like to honor Yom Kippur as a believer in the Messiah | Land of Honey

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What does it look like for a believer in Yahusha to honor Yom Kippur in the 21st century? This is not really a day we've seen much of. And what we have seen is mostly from those who do not serve the Messiah. Is it appropriate to swing a chicken over my head, hoping it will take the punishment for my sins? Since Yahusha has taken our guilt, shouldn't this day honor and reflect that? Shouldn't this day be filled with the hope that is found in the Messiah?

I'm sharing with you what Yom Kippur has been like for me in years past. Not so that you can copy it exactly, but so that you have a starting point for what your day can look like. It doesn't have to be solemn or miserable. There are many more possibilities: a congregational get together, corporate prayer, a family celebration, a trip to the lake, worship time, reflection, and children's crafts would all be great options to incorporate in your day. I know some of you choose to fast all day while others do not so I'm not going to get into that debate. If you're not fasting have a festive meal. If you are wait until sundown to enjoy special foods.

The evening before - We have a late dinner. If you're fasting I would recommend doing this as close to sundown as possible. There's no reason to start the fast hungry. Eat a filling meal and drink plenty of water but don't stuff yourself. There's no reason to have an uncomfortable set apart day either. Before a fast I like to eat lots of vegetables and some sort of starch like rice, lentils, or potatoes. Fiber helps you to feel fuller longer, while sugar makes you hungry and thirsty a bit sooner. Dinner is a nice, relaxed atmosphere of good food and conversation. Lighting candles makes it feel a bit more festive and special.

The evening of Yom Kippur - Once it is dark after dinner and Yom Kippur has officially begun (Vayikra 23:32 specifies that this set apart time is evening to evening), we have Bible study and usually end up focusing on a certain word or topic. Last year it was anah (the word translated as afflict in Vayikra 23:27), but there are a lot of good study subjects for Yom Kippur. Azazel, atonement, covering, and the Melchizedek priesthood of Yahusha would all be good to delve into.

In the morning - We like to sleep in. This is a day of rest after all. Once I am up and around I head outside for some personal prayer time. I can't think of a place in Scripture where fasting isn't partnered together with prayer so please don't miss this important part of Yom Kippur! There's a huge list of topics to cover from family and relationships to health and finances. I pray for better understanding of Scripture, persecuted believers, restoration of the lost tribes, and anything else that comes to mind.

Make teshuvah to YHWH | Land of Honey

Early afternoon - If we don't have a congregational gathering to attend we head to a park or lake in the afternoon. Getting out of the house helps make this day a bit more special, and being in a beautiful spot of creation is peaceful and inspirational. Also, if you're fasting it's easier to do that when you're not right next to your kitchen. We enjoy a short walk and then find a spot to read the book of Hebrews. This book is significant to read during this time because Yom Kippur is traditionally a time when the Levitical priesthood is emphasized. A correct understanding of Hebrews brings so much clarity to the priesthood of Messiah and his followers. More on that here.

We pray together and walk a bit more before leaving. Since sacrificial offerings used to be a large part of Yom Kippur, we talk about what our offering can be to YHWH for this day - finances to special projects, time donated, ways we can further his Kingdom with what he has given us.

Celebrating Yom Kippur | Land of Honey

Early evening - This could seem a little silly but once we are back at home I like to watch the Hanna Barbera Jonah video. Jonah is a book that traditionally is read during Yom Kippur and this is a fun take on that. If there's time left before dinner we might do more Scripture reading or just talk.

Dinner - We like to have a special meal with family and sometimes friends. We prepare something simple and delicious ahead of time, maybe soup and a sandwich spread. Others like to break the fast with 'break-fast', and serve up frittata, fresh fruit, and yogurt. A white table setting or white clothing can be used to symbolize being washed white as snow from our sins.

So that's what Yom Kippur has been like for me. I'm planning that this year will be the most joyous yet! How about you? What is Yom Kippur like at your house?

Yom Teruah Scripture Reading List

Scriptures to be reading during Yom Teruah | Land of Honey

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Here are verses to be read during the Day of Sounding or studied in this time leading up to this day that YHWH asked us to set apart. Yom Teruah is a multifaceted day and there a ton of different Scriptures and topics that would be fitting to study. You might notice that I had a little trouble narrowing the list. haha

As the main themes of Yom Teruah are remembrance, and the sounding of the shofar it would be very appropriate to study each on this day. You could do a word study of all of the things YHWH or Yahusha say to remember. I did this as I was gathering this reading list and I would definitely recommend that. You could totally do some art journaling or another activity based on these verses too. Taking a look at where we see shofars and what they stand for throughout Scripture is also time well spent. Of course, a special emphasis on repentance is fitting for all the feast days and we would do well to brush up on a few verses about teshuvah.

Prophetically it is believed that Yahusha will return on Yom Teruah, which would be another great study topic. The return of the Messiah and the start of his reign here on earth. Many verses mention his return and the sounding of shofars together so we can easily see the connection to the Feast of Trumpets.

Here are a few of my favorites to read during this time.

Scriptures to Read During Yom Teruah:

Vayikra 23:23-25 - instruction for Yom Teruah.

Numbers 29:1-6 - instructions for offerings on this day.

Genesis 21:1-13 - a traditional passage to read. The Talmud says Sarah gave birth on Yom Teruah.

Genesis 22 - the sounding of the shofar is connected with the ram being sacrificed instead of Isaac.

1 Samuel 1-2:10 - it is traditionally believed that Hannah conceived during Yom Teruah.

Jeremiah 31  - Yom Teruah is described as a day of remembering and this passage is about YHWH remembering his people.

Psalm 98:6 - with shofars shout joyfully before YHWH.

John 15-16:4 - Yahusha instructs us to remember these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 - this significant event could be happening during a future Yom Teruah.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 - Yahusha shall return during a blast of the shofar.

Revelation 8-11 - the seven shofar blasts.

An Invitation to the Fall Feasts

The Messiah has invited you to a party | Land of Honey

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If the Messiah invited you to a party what would your response be?

Seriously, imagine what that would be like. What kind of special evening would the King of the Universe have in mind? What kind of food would be served? How would the tables be set? What would you wear? How would he feel if you refused to go?

He sent his servants to invite them to the wedding party. But they didn't want to come. -Matthew 22:3

Do you know this parable? In this story Yahusha told there is a king who was hosting a wedding party. A five-star banquet had been prepared by a top chef, special clothing had been designed and tailored with skill, tables were set, candles were lit, attention had been given to each lovely detail, and finally all of it was ready. But they didn't want to come.

YHWH holds seven special feasts a year. And his people decline the invitation. Like in Yahusha's parable we have had better things to do. "This is a busy time of year for me." "Work has been crazy." "We are set free from that." It's not that we didn't get the invitation. It's not that something is physically keeping us away. We just have refused to come. How does this make the host feel? Verse seven, The King was furious and invited someone else.

Don't miss out on this invitation from YHWH. Change which box you have been checking on these kingdom RSVPs. Three of his feasts are coming up soon! We aren't far away from the celebrations of Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot but there is still time to make it to these parties. Did you know that our Messiah honored and celebrated these times? And not only that but the nature of each feast speaks a different truth about who YHWH is and his redemptive plan for us.

The kingdom of Heaven is like a party no one wants to go to.

Now is the time to plan to celebrate as YHWH instructed us (see Leviticus 23). Make plans to keep these feasts with your family or check here or here to search for a group or get together in your area.

Since YHWH did not give us Gregorian calendar dates for his feasts there is some confusion as to exactly when they fall. If you are involved with a group I would personally go with their dates so you can celebrate as a community. If not, study and pray about what you should do.
Here's a refresher of the dates.

Traditional dates: (which begin at nightfall)

Yom Teruah
September 20-22 (this is traditionally observed as two days even though Scripture mandates one)

Yom Kippur 
September 29-30

October 4-12

Or, if you're going by the Torah to the Tribes calendar: (beginning at sunlight)

Yom Teruah
September 16

Yom Kippur
September 25

September 30 - October 7

Take some time to familiarize yourself with Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot and begin to plan. How should you accept the King's invitation? Put in for vacation from your job and plan to have the no-work days free. Will you be going camping or building a sukkah for Sukkot? Can you gather friends for a party or would you like to give gifts? You don't have to know how to do everything perfectly to accept this invitation, and really it is a learning and growing process that becomes more joyous and special with each year. The kingdom of Heaven is like a king preparing a feast for his son. Invite to the party as many as you can find. Say yes this year!

There's still time to celebrate YHWH's fall feasts! | Land of Honey

Living the Torah Portions: Ki Tavo

Ideas, crafts, and recipes for studying Scripture and learning the Torah portions | Land of Honey

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Ki Tavo - When you come in - Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8
Make a pro and con list
Ki Tavo contains the blessings we receive when we live in obedience to YHWH's instructions and also the curses that come upon us when we choose our own way. A great way to study this passage would be to write out a pro/con list based on what Scripture says. Be sure to include the consequences of what you've seen in your life from following YHWH's ways or not.
Matthew 19:17 | Land of Honey

Nitzavim/Vayelech - Standing/He went - Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30
Host a Torah reading party
This week mentions that every seven years the Torah is to be read aloud. Consider hosting a party to read at least part of it, or plan how you will do this during Sukkot. Here are tips for hosting a group for this. It was written for Shavuot but you'll get the idea. Another idea would be to download or purchase an audio Bible to listen to. After all, "faith comes by hearing the word of YHWH."

Host a Scripture reading party - tips and ideas | Land of Honey

Ha'azinu - Listen - Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52
He will come to us like the rain pouch from Jonathan Ogden
The bulk of our final Torah portion is comprised of the song of Moses. Pick a few lines to focus on and maybe even put them to a tune. Chapter 32 begins with Moses talking about this teaching falling like rain and this passage is worth studying as it describes the nature of YHWH so well. This pouch is a great reminder of his faithfulness.

He will come to us like the rain - coin purse | Land of Honey

Not sure where we are with the Torah Portions? Find out here.