Friday, December 15, 2006

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

In August 2004 I had the privilege of taking a class called "The Palestine of Jesus" at St. George's College in Jerusalem. Our group of nine toured most of Israel in a three-week period. We carried our Bibles, Prayer Books, and water bottles out to places such as Bethlehem, Cana, Mt. Tabor, Capernaum, and Caesarea Philippi. We would open our Bibles and our professor would teach about what had happened in each place. We also spent several days in Nazareth and surrounding areas. One trip to the Holy Land is not enough for me. I want very much to go back and revisit what I saw and explore what I missed.

Because of the unrest between warring factions, there is never a really good time to go to the Holy Land. August 2004 wasn't a good time. There were travel advisories in effect. When I saw that was my big opportunity to go, I rationalized that it has not been "safe" to go there for several thousand years. It wasn't safe for Jesus to go there, either, but he chose to be born in Bethlehem. This is where Jesus "first revealed his sacred face" and it's holy ground. Sadly, fewer and fewer pilgrims choose to make the journey, and who really could blame them.

Today I offer this prayer for the peace of the Holy Land, and for all nations of the earth:

"Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever. Amen." [The Book of Common Prayer, 815]

Pastor Linda
The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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