Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2022 Blog #47
November 28, 2022
Tears For The Holy Land
I have recently arrived back from the trip of a lifetime. I took a continuing education journey with other members of the Reformed Church in America to the Holy Land. It has been years since I felt the spiritual high that I felt while I walked through the places where Jesus walked.
In the midst of historical sights I also learned a bit about how Israeli Jews and Palestinians interact and the fear that each group has and the distrust that is apparent between the two groups. Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have special license plates. They are taxed but not allowed to vote. Palestinians living in occupied zones live under martial law and are answerable for their behavior in Military, not civilian courts. They also need permits to leave the occupied zones through check points around the security wall.
Israeli Jews are fearful because they are descendants of those who survived the holocaust of Europe and because of the Palestinian militias that sought to keep them from relocating to Palestine beginning in the late 1800’s and continuing today. Terror attacks by Palestinians have done nothing to relieve the fear that these Jews live with.
Palestinians in the occupied lands live under the daily threat of being arrested and brought to military courts. Their movements and their water supplies are controlled by Israel. They fear overnight incursions into their homes by heavily armed Israeli soldiers. Often these entries happen at two or three in the morning. They also fear that their transportation and work permits might get cancelled and their ability to earn a livelihood will end.
While I was in the Holy Land, all was peaceful. We interacted with both Palestinian and Jew. We traveled through Israel as well as areas in the occupied West Bank. I was grateful that all was peaceful despite at times feeling the tension between the two groups. I was shocked when three days after my return two bombs exploded near Jerusalem, killing and maiming Abraham’s sons and daughters.
It saddens me that these two groups, all descendants of Abraham, have so much to fear from one another. As our season of Advent begins, followed by the Christmas Season, I will be praying more fervently that peace might finally come to this troubled land and all of Abraham’s descendants can learn to respect and love one another and even seek the prosperity of all.
This Advent and Christmas season please pray for peace in the Holy Land. It breaks my heart that people live in such fear and I believe that Abraham, and the God of Abraham, cry when Abraham’s descendants treat each other so badly.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/