“God is Under the Rubble in Gaza”
[This sermon, by the Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, appears on Sojourners’ website. The Christmas Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, a partner of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, through Global Ministries.]
Editor’s note: This sermon of lament and anger, a cry against the ongoing war on Gaza, was preached in Palestine on Oct. 22 at both Evangelical Lutheran Church of Beit Sahour and the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. The sermon followed the Israel Defense Forces’ strike on Gaza’s oldest active church, the historic St. Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church. The bombing killed 18 people, injured others, and displaced about 400 civilians who were taking shelter in the church’s complex.
They besieged our Palestinian family in Gaza, described them as monsters, and blamed them. Israel Defense Forces bombed their homes, razed their neighborhoods to the ground, displaced them, and blamed them. Our families — brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nephews, and nieces — took refuge in schools where they were bombed, in hospitals where they were bombed, in places of worship where they were bombed, and then they were blamed.
We are broken. The people of Gaza are suffering. They have lost everything except their dignity. Many attained glory — they attained martyrdom — even if they did not ask for it. Now, again in our history, they find themselves facing the same choice: death or displacement. Our Nakba continues!
Where are they to go? There is no place for them in this world!