Psalm 122:6 calls upon people of faith to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Like me, I am sure you are watching with alarm as the tensions between the Hamas administration in the Gaza strip and Israel have reached a flashpoint in the last few days.
Let’s pray and work for a non-violent resolution to the problems shared by Israelis and Palestinians as each community seeks a way to build sustainable and just futures for themselves and their children in the land that so many of us revere as the Holy Land.
Inshallah, God willing, the people of power will find a way to step back from this brink, and just maybe this glimpse into the abyss will motivate people of goodwill to seek an outcome that allows both communities to fulfil their dreams in the land they must now share.
Too many Jewish and Arab mothers will be crying for their lost children unless somehow those with the capacity to shape the future do so with an eye to reconciliation, justice and peace. Security for the Jewish communities, and for Israel as a distinctively Jewish nation, is a necessary element in that long term vision. So too, it seems to me, is justice for the dispossessed and hope for the disillusioned.
Surely this conflict will soon abate, and the work of reconstruction and reconciliation will begin afresh.
In the meantime, let’s focus our love and prayers on the beautiful people of Israel and Palestine, all of whom have suffered too long from the wounds created by the political and military decisions of previous generations over the past one hundred years.
Let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for the peace of Gaza, and for the peace and well-being of every village, settlement and town in all of Israel/Palestine.
May the guns and missiles soon fall silent, and may the winter rains wash away the bitterness of the recent past as people move into a shared future.
Kyrie eleison / Lord, have mercy.