Daily Topic for December 23, 2011
The word “people” here does not refer to the nations or the Gentiles. But it does refer to all elements of Jewish society in the Holy Land of that day. The good news was not for just one segment of the nation of Israel. The Pharisees thought the Messiah would reveal Himself primarily to them and their peers. Others thought He would be coming principally for their benefit. But the announcement of Christ’s birth was not made at the local synagogue, but to some lowly shepherds in a field. Jesus would later live and minister among sinners, publicans, and prostitutes, groups who were neglected by the religious people of the day.
Pray that the Lord will stir our hearts this Christmas season with the reminder that His good news is for all peoples.
The political turmoil in southern Yemen has largely taken place in the capital of Sana’a. Government troops have battled with insurgents, separatists, and Islamic militants in the south. The ongoing fight against elements associated with al-Qaeda has been complicated by the sudden surge of social unrest. Southern Yemenis who speak Taizzi-Adeni, a slightly different dialect of Arabic than the northerners speak, are heavily affected by this crisis.
There is an ongoing spiritual crisis that has plagued the southern Yemenis for hundreds of years. Because it is Islamic, imposes strict Shari’a Law, and does not allow people to switch their allegiance to the person of Jesus Christ, Yemen remains one of the least evangelized nations in the world. Four decades of civil war have also kept workers out of Yemen. Today is arguably the most dangerous time in history for both the people and nation of Yemen.
As those in the north raise a cry for democracy, the people of the south are struggling to survive in the company of militants. They are being held hostage by an oppressive false religion and live in the constant shadow and deadly threats of terrorism.
Pray for mission agencies to be creative in reaching the Southern Yemeni
Arabs with materials in Taizzi-Adeni. Ask the Lord to provide the gospel for them in their own language and rescue them from a life of fear.