Pray with Israel/Palestine, October 10, 2021
Lectionary Selection: Mark 10:17-31
Prayers for Israel/Palestine
God of the Rich and Poor, Insiders and Outsiders, Righteous and Unrighteous, the Powerful and those who suffer under their power, we give thanks for the reach of your love, the depth of your understanding, the long-suffering of your patience. You are holy, holy, holy.
We confess our share in the world’s brokenness. We pray that the opportunity to begin anew in your forgiveness will stir in us a passion to share in healing the brokenness – in us, our community, our nation, and the world.
We pray today for Palestinians and Israelis who long for an end to their seemingly endless suffering. Remind their self-serving leaders – Jewish, Muslim, and Christian – that your longing for humankind and creation will prevail.
To that end, keep our hope alive.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Israel/Palestine
In his encounter with the man who, having “many possessions,” asked Jesus what he had to do to enter into a truly rich and fulfilling life, the kind of life God offers, Jesus said, “You lack one thing: sell what you have, give the cash to the poor, then come, follow me.” Mark tells us that the fellow was shocked.
When I have preached this text, I’ve told folks that Jesus’ instruction isn’t a universal condition for being saved. Maybe it’s a word for some, but Jesus issued this specific call to this specific man.
Of course, I have had to go on to point out that, once the man turned away, Jesus turned to his disciples – that’s all of us– to say, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God.” “Those who have wealth”: that’s us, too, those of us living in the West when compared to the overwhelming majority of the world’s population. This is a word from our Lord to all of us.
For well over 50 years, Palestinians have suffered under Israel’s brutal occupation – described as apartheid earlier this year by B’Tselem, a leading Israeli human rights organization and partner of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ through Global Ministries. Christians and their Muslim neighbors suffer a lack of medical, economic, and social resources. COVID has worsened the situation, both from a lack of vaccinations and a lack of tourists upon which the Palestinian economy depends. The Palestinians – and others around the globe – whom you and I serve through Global Ministries are for the most part to be counted among the world’s overwhelming majority. I’ve been blessed to see so many of them generously share what little they do have with neighbors, struggling family members, their community, and even strangers. Believe me, you can see it (you’ve probably seen it in your own community): there’s a quality to the life of the radically generous, a depth to their way of being, a joy you can see on their often-wizened faces that reflects their having entered the kingdom of God.
Mission Partners in Israel/Palestine
- Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees
- YWCA of Palestine (Palestine)
- Tantur Ecumenical Institute
- Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center (Jerusalem)
- Rawdat el-Zuhur (Palestine)
- Kairos Palestine
- Friends Meeting in Ramallah
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
- Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
- Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
- East Jerusalem YMCA (Palestine)
- Diyar Consortium
- Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem