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 … [Read more...] about Nelson Mandela
Douglas Dicks has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) as a liaison to the Middle East for 18 years, and is now concluding his service. I found these words from his final report to be stirring, for they have inspired him: “It is not your task to complete the job of perfecting the world, but … [Read more...] about The PCUSA Reports from Jordan, Israel, Palestine
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?
I'm off on a "little adventure" today and tomorrow, but saw this and wanted to post it for those of you who might be interested. Pope Francis has a message about a subject that is close to my heart: the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. I think Protestants can resonate with his message, as … [Read more...] about A Word from the Pope About Christians in the Middle East
I think it's important for followers of Jesus to stop and listen to the voices of Palestinian Christians. They continue to live in the land of Jesus, amid complicated realities that constantly urge them to war. Yet these leaders urge us to "wage peace." They need our support. How can Christians … [Read more...] about A Palestinian Christian Urges Us to “Wage Peace”
from the recent newsletter of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem . . . During this month, the drums of war seemed to beat louder than usual. The majority of people throughout the Middle East prayed that the impending military intervention into Syria would not come to pass. Our prayers for peace … [Read more...] about Greetings from the Land of the Holy One
The Gatekeepers is a 2012 documentary about Israel's secret service agency, the Shin Bet. The filmmaker, Dror Moreh, interviewed the six men who have served as head of the Shin Bet from its beginnings in 1948. The fact that these men agreed to be interviewed is absolutely stunning. The interviews … [Read more...] about The Gatekeepers
Yesterday I met Daoud Nassar, and I would like to introduce you. "I am a Palestinian Christian farmer," Daoud says. There are very few of his kind left. His family's land lies six miles southwest of Bethlehem, 100 acres that his grandfather purchased in 1916. The family has owned the land … [Read more...] about Daoud Nassar, a Palestinian Christian farmer
I attended an all-day workshop sponsored by Friends of Sabeel, which is an international peace movement that gives voice to Palestinian Christians. My pilgrimage to the Holy Land has made my heart soft toward the Palestinians. Do you realize how severe is the plight of the Christian communities … [Read more...] about Palestine & Peace
There was a man who had two sons. ~Luke 15:11 This morning was the 4th Sunday of Lent and the gospel text was well-known -- The Parable of the Prodigal Son. Or maybe you call it The Parable of the Two Sons. Or The Parable of the Forgiving Father. The name you call this parable shows your … [Read more...] about Two Sons: The Stage for Religious Antagonism
I am featured on "Eerd Word" (which is the blog for Eerdmans Publishing) today. My post is called "When a Pastor Becomes a Pilgrim." I make the case that pastors--however young or broke-- should try to get to the Holy Land early in their career. I hope you'll click over there and read it! … [Read more...] about When a Pastor Becomes a Pilgrim
The news from Gaza dominates the headlines here in the United States, as it should. After all, we are involved in this news. Our tax dollars support Israel and the policies of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. As Americans we follow the news and consume media coverage. We see pictures of a … [Read more...] about Is Peace Hopeless? Pray Anyway.