Thursday, August 02, 2007

COEXIST


(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

6 comments:

joy said...

Thanks for sharing your experience J, I have learnt a lot of stuff that I was ignorantly unaware off! That picture of you in the bono t shirt is the most john mac pic i have ever seen...you in a nut shell! Hope to hear all soon x

Ellen Wright said...

that should be the cover of a cd. infact you should record a cd just to use that photo.

Sara-Lou said...

It was great to hear both sides of the story, thanks for sharing your experiences! Im sure it will become clearer why you were there as time passes. God has a funny way of unravelling things. see ya soon. SL

Anonymous said...

Johnboy, great to read your experience. I spent 2 weeks in the "occupied territories" on the West Bank in 1995, the experiences have stayed with me deep ever since. I agree with your analysis, and when I have said it publicly, aka I called Bethlehem part of Palestine at Summer Madness just a few weeks ago, I got dozens of angry letters!! Well done on going, and sharing your experience so openly. I think Christians here, forget about the fact there are arab Christians who kinda need us to stand up for them against the might is right arguments in Israel. God bless mate, Mark R

Pastor Phil said...

Hey J.mac
I really enjoyed you sharing your experience and I'm looking forward to that walk in the park to hear more.
Loved it
PP

Sam said...

John again thanks for typing some of your thoughts, and for bringing to light some of the realities of what is happening in the middle east. It really annoys me how so many christians turn a blind eye to the suffering of our brothers and sisters, and assume the isreali state is doing right when it seems they are acting in the very ways that God castigated the jews for in the old testament - ignoring so many of the laws that God spelled out about oppression and injustice, about generosity and remembering they once had been slaves and refugees. Your experiences will play an important part in shaping the young minds of the kids you teach - exciting stuff..