Friday, December 11, 2015

10/12/2015 English

        Lord, this past Saturday,  Manger Square in Bethlehem was filled with the Spirit of Christmas as locals and internationals came together to witness the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. At the same time, churches in Palestine and around the world joined in solidarity with Bethlehem, ringing bells as a prayer  for peace, justice and dignity for all people.  We at Sabeel join in this prayer as we look forward to celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace.  Come, Lord Jesus, and fill our world with your peace.                                                    
Lord, in your mercy...........

        God of Mercy,  while we in Jerusalem and the West Bank are focused on daily reports of local unrest and violence, let us not forget the people of Gaza who continue to be held prisoner by the ongoing closure and siege.  On the southern border, Rafah, the only hope of exit and entry for thousands of Gazans, is caught up in internal and external policies which make it impossible for people to move in and out freely.  At this time when we celebrate the coming into the world of a message of Good News for all people, may that good news include the ending of the siege and the restoration of freedom and hope for all the people of Gaza.  
Lord, in your mercy...........

        Lord, everyday we read of  another tragedy here.  Another house demolition in Shufat Refugee Camp last week, more killings of young Palestinians, the withholding of the bodies of those who have been killed, making it impossible for families to properly grieve.  Innocent people being punished for the alleged acts of others.  When will people understand that violent acts of retribution only lead to more violent acts, intensifying despair and anger?  Lord, we pray for an end to this cycle of violence.  Help us to act in ways that lead to hope and a just peace.                                              
                Lord, in your mercy………….

                                Lord Jesus, next week both Sabeel Nazareth and Sabeel Jerusalem celebrate your coming                    with special festivities. On Thursday, Dec. 17, Nazareth will be presenting an original                          musical drama and on Saturday, Dec. 19,  Sabeel Jerusalem will host their annual ecumenical              Christmas dinner.  We pray that all who attend will be filled with the joy and hope that this                  holy Season brings. 
                                Lord in your mercy.............

•           We pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the countries of  Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,  and Senegal.                   
                            Lord, in your mercy...........

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