Thousands of Christians from around the world are flocking to Israel to celebrate the biblical Feast of Sukkot this week.
The Feast of Sukkot also known as the Feast of Tabernacles is held between September 23 and September 30 and welcomes Christians from around the world. Together, Christian’s gather to celebrate the provisions that God made for the Jewish people in the past and to “look forward to that promised Messianic age when all nations will flow to this city to worship the Lord,” the Feast of Tabernacles website stated.
The feast is orchestrated by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), and this year they are celebrating the annual feast’s 38th year.
The festival is welcoming more than 5,000 Christians from nearly 100 countries this year for the weeklong celebration, and according to CBN News many have come dressed in national costumes and are ready to worship God and stand with His people.
One young woman from Vermont, Charity, told the outlet, "I know it's going to be a life-changing experience.”
Charity continued, "I love Israel and I think that it's a time when things are going to turn around and it's very prophetic and to be a part of being able to give back to the people that gave to us." This is the Vermont native’s first time in Israel.
David Parsons, vice president of the ICEJ, explained to CBN News that people come to the festival because "They're following the invitation of Zachariah 14 where it says that one day all the nations will come up to celebrate this biblical feast here in Jerusalem, to worship the Lord and keep the Feast of Tabernacles and we're showing up now as a statement of faith that that day is coming when the Messiah will rule here."
Parson shared that each year the festival has a theme, and this year is 'Dare to Dream' which focuses on Psalm 126.
"'When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion we were like those that dream' and it's about the dream of Israel, all those centuries being restored back to the Land ending the exile, coming back here and we live in the day of Israel's restoration,” Parson said.
"Israel's now 70 years old as a reborn state and there's much to celebrate. They've overcome many wars, terror attacks, rocket barrages, economic boycotts, other attempts to strangle it," he added.
Ray Landis, another first-time visitor from Vermont, told the outlet, "I came because I love Israel and I want to see the prophecies fulfilled."
He continued, "We've just been studying the things of the Bible and it talks about how Jerusalem is going to be restored and Israel is going to be restored and we want to be part of that. It's amazing.”
Mario DeCosa, a first-time visitor from Angola, told CBN of the impact the festival has had on him. He said, "I'm really delighted and thrilled at what I have been witnessed since yesterday evening and I think now I take with me a commitment to pray more for Israel, for the peace of Israel, for Jerusalem and even do more to mobilize more people to work toward the peace of Israel.”
As one of the perks of this year’s festival, attendees will be given a copy of CBN’s new documentary on Israel’s long history of global humanitarian aid.
Parsons said, "We're very happy that all the Feast pilgrims are going to go back with copies of it in English and we're partnering with CBN to also provide Hebrew copies to all Israeli guests to the Feast this week.”
Photo courtesy: James Coleman/Unsplash
Video courtesy: CBN News