Jesus, the Prince of Peace, brought hope to a troubled world, and we are invited to embody that hope in the troubled world of today.
In Israel and Palestine, the escalation in tension and violence that started this fall continues. A UN report gives figures for October and November of 103 Palestinians and 17 Israelis killed.
In the midst of such a tense situation, the Palestinian Authority asked its West Bank municipalities to tone down public Christmas celebrations. In Bethlehem, the biblical city of Jesus’ birth, plans have been scaled back. “’Every year, when we light the tree, usually there is a huge display of fireworks, but this year we will ring church bells instead,’ said [Mayor] Baboun. The bells, she added, will remind everyone ’that we exist despite all the catastrophes.’”
Offer a message of hope for peace this Christmas by calling on Congress to support measures that will serve the cause of a just peace for all. In addition to calling for a halt to the current violence, ask them to address the root causes, including the Israeli occupation, so that a lasting peace can be found.
Contact your elected officials today and urge them to:
- Call for an immediate halt to violence by all parties
- Call for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land
- Insist that military aid to Israel is used in ways consistent with human rights standards as outlined in US laws
You can also:
Send a message of hope directly to Bethlehem
Let the people of Bethlehem know you’re advocating for a just peace by telling them about your message to Congress. During Advent and Christmas 2015, Pax Christi International invites members and people of good will to write a message of hope and encouragement to friends in Bethlehem. Arab Educational Institute (AEI), a Pax Christi International member organization based in Palestine will distribute the messages to citizens of Bethlehem, members and friends. Click here to send your email. Messages will be posted on the AEI website.
Join in a joint simulcast worship service with Bethlehem
The ninth annual Bethlehem simulcast service will be held Saturday, December 19 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (5:00 PM in Bethlehem). Congregations will gather at the Washington National Cathedral in DC and at the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. Prayers, readings, and hymns alternate between the two congregations in a joint celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. Click here to live-stream the service.
Pray for peace
Pray for peace in God’s troubled world. The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem has prepared “A Litany for Peace in the Holy Land” which can be found here.
Please feel free to use this sample letter to send to your elected officials:
As a person of faith, I write to you during this holiday season out of concern for the current climate of escalating tension and violence in Israel and Palestine.
I hope that you will both call for a halt to the violence and address the root causes, including the Israeli occupation, so that a lasting peace can be found.
I hope that you will speak out to:
Call for an immediate halt to violence by all parties
Call for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land
Insist that military aid to Israel is used in ways consistent with human rights standards as outlined in US laws
I believe that calling for such measures that will serve the cause of a just peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.
Thank you for your consideration.