Wednesday, February 3, 2016

4/2/2016 English

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that what is ultimately driving the ongoing wave of violent resistance and attacks is frustration and despair caused by the prolonged, almost half a century long Israeli occupation. While still denouncing violence and the loss of innocent lives, Ki-moon recognized that oppressed people will resist their oppressors, and so to stop the violence Israel must first stop oppressing and end the occupation.

·        Lord God, we renounce all forms of violence, and mourn the loss of lives of individuals on both sides. Please open the eyes of those in power so that they may see a way forward which leads to an end of the occupation.

Lord, in your mercy

Movement to and from Ramallah, the political and economic center of Palestine, was severely restricted Sunday and Monday after a shooting attack that wounded three IDF soldiers. Checkpoints were shut down, preventing tens of thousands of Palestinians from entering or exiting the city. This is collective punishment and yet another unnecessary disruption of civilian daily life.

·        God of justice, when people are treated inhumanely - trapped in literal cages and surrounded by concrete walls, it becomes tempting to resort to violence. Remind us that, no matter what punishment we are subjected to, we are all still your children, created in your image and likeness.

Lord, in your mercy

Mirna Hana is an 11-year old Christian girl who became a refugee when her family had to flee Iraq due to threats from ISIS. She recently gave an emotional performance on hit TV show “The Voice Kids,” her beautiful singing and heartfelt story quickly passing her onto the next round.

·        God of music and beauty, we lift this young girl up to you, and rejoice that her tragic life story now has a bright and happy future. Allow this story to give us hope to believe that at the end of every dark tunnel shines a ray of light.

Lord, in your mercy…

Sabeel Nazareth is hosting a young adult Bible study this week on Luke 2:22-38, the story of Mary taking Jesus to be presented in the temple.

·        God, we thank you for young people who are hungry to learn more of you by reading and studying scripture. Help their discussion to be fruitful, and be present with all of us as we continue to grow in your word.

Lord, in your mercy…

·        We pray alongside the World Council of Churches for the countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

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