Pray with Israel/Palestine, December 25, 2022
Lectionary Selection Isaiah 52:7-10
Prayers for Israel/Palestine
God Who Hears the Cries of the Oppressed, we pray for all who suffer the ongoing, seemingly never-ending consequences of colonialization and occupation. We confess our share in the world’s suffering. Give us the will and the courage to share in the world’s healing. Visit the broken-hearted and the broken-spirited this holy day with the light of your love. Move the faithful in churches, synagogues and mosques, along with all people of good will, to be your light in their lives in concrete and transforming ways.
In the name of the one who, for our sake, kept faith under occupation, amen.
We remember that when the Creator of the Universe chose to become flesh and live among us, life in Bethlehem and the whole of Palestine was shaped by a cruel occupation and the political manipulations of leaders both secular and religious. Today, Palestinians suffer through many of those first century realities as internationally recognized human rights organizations and a growing number of denominations—including ours—use the word apartheid to describe the laws, policies and brutal practices of the State of Israel.
Still, the faith of our Palestinian siblings sustains them. Their hope is strong, their love is deep. Today, the Christmas lights on Bethlehem’s Manger Square are brightly shining as Palestinian neighbors—Christians and Muslims alike—celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Kairos Palestine, one of our mission partners in the Middle East, calls to us through their Christmas Alert, inviting us to embrace the costly logic of Christ’s nonviolent, transforming love. They write,
As we celebrate God’s incarnation in the child born here in Bethlehem, join us in the holy work of seeing the “human being” in yourself and in the enemy, and calling the “other” through creative resistance to see his or her own humanity, the humanity of the Palestinian, and the image of God in every human being.
Written by Jeff Wright, retired Disciples clergy
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