Christmas Greetings from Ramallah

Christmas Greetings from Ramallah

Global Ministries’ mission partner, Jean Zaru, the clerk of the Ramallah Friends Quaker Meeting, sends a message of peace and hope.

Advent 2006

Dear Friends,

What shall I share with you as we stand between 2006 and 2007?

How do I interpret the Message of Hope in the midst of all the suffering in the Middle East and elsewhere?

My heart is so heavy.  The blood of the many victims is still warm. The cry of anguish of our children fills our days and nights.  They are crying out because they are hungry, thirsty, sick, wounded and frightened.  They are crying with their community for their rights and dignity.

The good life of some is built on the pain of many.  The pleasure of a few is
obtained at the expense of the agony of millions. Some worship death in their quest to possess more things.  While some worship death in fighting for their own security without understanding that our lives are bound together, that peace is collective and only achievable when all experience it.

God we thirst for you in a thirsty land. We feel alone and depressed. What shall we do?

In the solitude of my home, reflecting on the message of Jesus’ birth, as I was trying to put out some Christmas decorations, I was reminded that Jesus’ message was an injection of hope into a despairing community.  Frequently Jesus accompanied his acts with the challenge to: “Take courage, have hope,” or “Fear not, do not be afraid.”

The sermon with which Jesus opened his public ministry, is an exposition of
the purpose of his coming.  It was addressed to the poor, the prisoners, the blind, the broken victims (Luke 4:18).

This is a program of hope at its heart.  Jesus’ teaching was always forward looking.  For hope is not concerned with what is past, but what is about to be; not what we were, but with what we may become.

Friends, your gift of friendship is one of the greatest gifts I have received.  You have been with me in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, whether at home or abroad. You are living into and living out Jesus’ program of hope through your accompaniment, ministry, inspiration, support and compassion.

In this struggle, and in this ministry, we need one another. We need community, we need beauty and love and compassion.

May this Christmas season, and the New Year be a time of renewal of our
commitment and hope, for it is not God’s intention that we be reconciled to hopelessness.

With all my love and warm best wishes and gratitude to you, my dear friends.

In Friendship and hope,