As you can read at this link, the World Day of Prayer International Committee (WDPIC) has urgently called for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, protection of civilians, and release of hostages, has issued this statement, and urged us all to pray:
We cry out to you with broken hearts and deep anguish for what is unfolding in Israel and Palestine. It is difficult to find the words to express the weight of this moment. We rest on your Spirit, who intercedes with sighs too deep for words. We ask that you heal every wound, and you give us wisdom for how to stop this cycle of violence. We pray especially for women and children, who are particularly vulnerable in times of war. Move our world quickly towards peace and justice.
With much attention focussed on events in the Middle East, it’s not surprising that Rev Adam Stevenson’s sermon at yesterday’s Communion service also echoed a message of peace. Having shared Jane Leach’s way of exploring different viewpoints that she calls ‘Pastoral Theology as Attention’, Adam commented: “As I watch and listen to the commentary on the present situation in the Holy Land, I am reminded that what we need here isn’t grandstanding, but listening, and paying attention to a much bigger whole than is often given space to. In the days ahead, it is our duty to hold all the people of the Holy Land in our prayers, and particularly the denominational officers of our churches who work for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land …”
His sermon continued about the brokenness of our world, the bread broken at the table, and the broken body of Christ, and ended: “If we are paying attention fully to the grace of God that comes from this table of peace, then we shall all be called out into the world to make it a better place of acceptance and kindness, not just for ourselves but for all neighbours – local and international. The God of peace be with you. Amen.” Do read the whole of his sermon at this link.
Our picture by Cole Keister on Unsplash, shows a wall at Netiv HaAsara facing the Gaza border on which have been written the words “Path to Peace” in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Netiv HaAsara is a moshav in southern Israel. Located in the north-west Negev, it nearly borders the Gaza Strip.