From the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem in 586 BC to the formation of the modern state of Israel in AD 1948, the Jewish people existed as a diaspora people group. The two and a half millennia spent living in diaspora have strongly shaped the contemporary Jewish worldview.
More than half of the Jewish people alive today still live in diaspora, while Jewish Israelis are very much connected to others outside of Israel. Many Israelis are immigrants or the children or grandchildren of immigrants, speaking several languages and often having a bi-cultural identity.
A new initiative has developed in Israel. During the Advent season, Israeli Messianic Jews and Arab Christians in a major city partner together to host Christmas outreach programs. Secular Jewish people in Israel are curious to learn more about other cultures, including how and why Christmas is celebrated in other countries. These programs provide an opportunity for them to hear the story of the birth of the Messiah, who was born in Bethlehem. Services open to the public are held in Hebrew, English and Russian with translation provided as needed.
Christian ex-pats, students and foreign workers living in Israel also attend and are encouraged to invite their Jewish friends to these Christmas programs.
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old” (Luke 1:68-70): Lord God of Israel, we praise You as our Redeemer and Bringer of salvation. You alone can bring together Jews and Arabs, Ethiopians, Filipinos and Russians.
“Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” (2 Corinthians 3:15-16): Our Savior, as Jewish people in Israel learn about the birth of Yeshua, give them the news of eternal life in Him. Lift the veil over their hearts so that they may behold the glory of the Messiah Yeshua.
Ask God how else to pray.
Ask a Jewish friend or local rabbi for their insights about the prophecies mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures and found in the story of the birth of Yeshua.