The land we call holy, and the city named for peace are often far from peaceful and sometimes can seem abandoned by God to the worst of human passions and actions.
And yet Israel/Palestine and the city of Jerusalem remain important to peoples of faith, and repositories of hope for human flourishing.
Isaiah in the first reading today prophesies, and says
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the Temple of the God of Jacob
that he may teach us his ways
so that we may walk in his paths;
since the Law will go out from Zion,
and the oracle of the Lord from Jerusalem.’
Today as we begin to keep Advent why not spend a little time reading around charities working for support of the dispossessed; for reconciliation between peoples; peace building; and for the health of all communities.
Why not go a step further and offer support to those working for such godly aims and ambitions.
There are many such groups.
The Council of Christians and Jews works for better mutual understandng between Jews and Christians. It takes an active interest in the contemporary situation of Israel/Palestine; the history that led to the founding of the state of Israel; and in the blight and curse of antisemitism.
The Centre for Muslim-Christian studies in Oxford brings Muslims and Christians together to relate honestly, think rigorously, and explore our respective traditions and religious texts, through teaching and research, discussion and public education.
- Photograph: (c) 2018, Allen Morris. East Jerusalem, from above the City of David.
- Prayer card. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.