“Lord, in your mercy….” Jesus teaches a disquieting lesson to his disciples in the first century and still today: where there is suffering, rather than assign blame to someone, examine one’s own life, and change. (Lk 13:1-4) For generations, our Palestinian Christian sisters and brothers have suffered under discrimination in Israel and a military occupation of Palestine. As individual Christians, as local churches, as a small but influential denomination, and as American citizens, what has been our part in their suffering and what is God calling us to change? Brothers and sisters, let us pray that at this summer’s Kansas City Convention, when we examine our lives before God and our Palestinian siblings, we will consider the Resolution on Israel-Palestine, and change. “Lord, in your mercy.”
Pray for Israel’s upcoming general elections that will elect a new parliament and possibly a new Prime Minister. Although none of the major Jewish political parties supports an independent State of Palestine, and none supports religious freedom and equal civil rights for all Israeli citizens, God can do wonders! Pray that God will open the minds and soften the hearts of the citizens and politicians of Israel. Pray that the Church universal and the citizens of Israel and Palestine will learn to follow God’s will from the teachings of the prophets: To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.
Pray for the well being of Palestinian Christians, especially for the Nassar family from the Bethlehem District. Daher’s Vinyard—the family’s farm—is the site of the Tent of Nations program that models faith, hope and love in the midst of horrendous conflict. The Nassar family’s mantra, “We Refuse to be Enemies,” is painted on a boulder at the entrance to the farm—and chiseled into their hearts guiding their actions. As Palestinian Christians sow the seeds of justice, pray for a harvest of peace. (For information about Tent of Nations’ peacemaking work, go to http://www.tentofnations.org/.)