Today the United States dedicated its embassy in Israel, which relocated from TelAviv to Jerusalem. At a grand ceremony, many influential people spoke, frequently invoking God's name, praying or quoting scripture. More than one mentioned the words of Psalm 122 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May … [Read more...] about Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
The Museum of the Bible opened in Washington, DC last November. The owner is Steve Green, who also owns Hobby Lobby. Green is a conservative Evangelical who is anti-gay and anti-choice. He appears to seek political influence and to court the press. Some of the recent press was negative because he … [Read more...] about The Museum of the Bible
Recently the pilgrim site at Tabgha, Israel was attacked by arsonists. Very little mention was made of this in US media. I wrote a blogpost for EerdWord, the Eerdmans blog. Thanks for reading. … [Read more...] about When Sanctuaries Aren’t Safe
President Obama delivered remarks that caused some reaction. Here are his opening paragraphs: We see sectarian war in Syria, the murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, religious war in the Central African Republic, a rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe, so often perpetrated … [Read more...] about Obama Tackles Our Crusader Past
The conflict in Gaza occupies hearts and minds right now. I know you're praying for peace. But how else can a faith leader respond? So often we feel forced to choose a side. Are you pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian? The topic always seems to boil down to this question which (reasonably enough) results … [Read more...] about 9 Things Pastors Can Do Besides Pray for Gaza
People say that denominational decisions are like law and sausage. If you love them, you don’t want to see them getting made. But I love the way we Presbyterians govern ourselves. I geek out over our historic principles. Have you heard these beautiful, high-minded words from 1788? ~ God alone is … [Read more...] about Why I Support the Presbyterian Church’s Vote
Here's the full text of what the PCUSA just passed at the 221st General Assembly. Don't miss #7. You're welcome to comment, as long as you disclose your identity. I delete anonymous comments. Click here for some of my own thoughts on the subject. The PC(USA) has a long standing commitment to … [Read more...] about What the PCUSA actually said about Divestment in the Middle East, 2014
The 221st General Assembly of the PCUSA is meeting this week in Detroit. There are many important and fascinating topics they will discuss, debate, and vote on. Among them is Divestment, or whether or not the denomination should divest from American companies that create products used in the … [Read more...] about Apartheid. Boycott. Conflict. Divest.
We look for peace, but find no good, for a time of healing, but there is terror instead. ~ Jeremiah 8:15 Two pieces of news from Israel/Palestine: 1. On May 25 the Pope made an unexpected stop at the Wall of Separation while visiting Bethlehem. Perhaps you've seen the pictures. It was a … [Read more...] about We Look for Peace
One reason music is so powerful is context. We hear an "oldie" on the radio and remember the sweetheart we danced with "back then" and feel a pang of nostalgia. We hear the theme music announcing a favorite TV show and the pleasures of watching that show come flooding back. Music we enjoy with … [Read more...] about A Bethlehem Prayer Service at Christmastime
Today the world honors the life of Nelson Mandela. I read about South African activists posting pro-Palestine banners at the Mandela memorial. That lead me to read the text of a speech Mandela gave on December 4, 1997 at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. These are … [Read more...] about Nelson Mandela Speaking About the Palestinian People
My family and I went to see the new IMAX movie "Jerusalem" on Saturday. The photography is amazing, and the access to sacred sites is unparalleled. You could go on a thousand pilgrimages to Jerusalem and never see these events from this perspective. I'll paste the movie trailer below, it's worth … [Read more...] about Why Jerusalem? The IMAX movie.