Thursday, August 02, 2007
(more pics on flickr)
So the adventure has come to an end. i've been wanting to write some concluding thoughts and then give the blogging a rest for a while.
But how do you come to any conclusion? For a part of the world that has never seen peace. The birthplace of our Messiah has been a land of oppression and bloodshed. A meeting place, a melting pot, the centre for the clash of culture, politics and religion.
Babylon, Assyria, Persia, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Islam, Britain, Jordan, Israel, Hamas.......occupation and war.
I feel God brought me there and now I'm trying to work out why. It was perfect because I wanted to see both sides and the Israel team just happened to finish the day that a group were going out to Palestine. There are not many teams that do the practical stuff and meet people like we were able to in Israel. There are literally no other groups of foreigners who are able to go to the places and meet the people that we met in Palestine (thanks to Elias).
And so I feel privileged to have been immeresed briefly in both sides and I'm seeking guidance on how to follow-up and develop in my life. I don't want the experience to drift gradually into photoalbums and memories.
I visited places of extreme beauty and extreme pain. On both sides I met hurting, inspiring, hopeful and hopeless people. I lived with human beings without freedom. I experienced the best and the worst of religion.
For now I'll leave the theology of Zionism to the hundreds of book writers who have never set foot in half of the land. The facts are that right now Israel exists as do the Occupied Palestinian Territorys...
.....and when their people are considered simply as human beings, they are not equal.
It's so complicated and there are few answers but there is one thing I'm sure about...... It could never be God's will for one people group to prosper as a direct result of the oppresion and suffering of another.
If only Jews, Muslims and Christians could see their purpose in life like Jesus saw his....
'The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.'
SHALOM SALEM PEACE