Archive | September, 2014

this region aches

21 Sep

The Jerusalem Prayer for  2014

For the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

21-27 September

World Week for Peace in Palestine 21-27 September Israel 2014Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Hebrews 13:3

With these words we pray together for those who are in prison all over the world, those easily forgotten. We pray especially for the political prisoners of Palestine and Israel. We pray for the sick among them and those who cannot handle the hardship of a prison cell, for the children and women who are mistreated behind bars. We also remember those left behind, the families who are bereaved as their beloved ones are sent to prison. We pray for inner transformation for those who committed crimes, and in need of conversion. We pray for hearts and minds that are haunted by hatred and fear, that we will soon find peace and reconciliation in souls and in the societies.

This region aches with so much troubles of the body and soul, both presently and in history. In Palestine and Israel today many lack freedom and too many are behind bars. For too long injustice, violence and fear have shaped this region. We pray and ask for human treatment and justice for all, as we are all children of God.

At last we pray for a just peace settlement and reconciliation, a peace where there will be no more political prisoners behind bars and where harmony will prevail in the hearts of all the peoples of this region. We pray for God’s mercy, for freedom for those in shackles and for peace in our time.

As we observe this week with our brothers and sisters from churches all over the world we pray:

Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;

may your mercy come quickly to meet us,

for we are in desperate need.

Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name;

deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.

Why should the nations say,Where is their God?”

Before our eyes, make known among the nations

that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.

May the groans of the prisoners come before you;

with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.

Psalm 79, 8-11

it’s time

20 Sep

World Week for Peace in Palestine 21-27 September Israel 2014

World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

21 – 27 September 2014

An initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches

It’s time for Palestine. It’s time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace.

It’s time to respect human lives in the land called holy. It’s time for healing to begin in wounded souls. It’s time to end more than 60 years of conflict, oppression and fear.  It’s time for freedom from occupation. 

It’s time for equal rights.  It’s time to stop discrimination, segregation and restrictions on movement. It’s time for those who put up walls and fences to build them on their own property. It’s time to stop bulldozing one community’s homes and building homes for the other community on land that is not theirs. It’s time to do away with double standards.

It’s time for Israeli citizens to have security and secure borders agreed with their neighbours.  It’s time for the international community to implement more than 60 years of United Nations resolutions. It’s time for Israel’s government to complete the bargain offered in the Arab Peace Initiative.   It’s time for those who represent the Palestinian people to all be involved in making peace. It’s time for people who have been refugees for more than 60 years to regain their rights and a permanent home.   It’s time to assist settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to make their home in Israel. It’s time for self-determination.

It’s time for foreigners to visit Bethlehem and other towns imprisoned by the wall. It’s time to see settlements in their comfort and refugee camps in their despair.  It’s time for people living more than 40 years under occupation to feel new solidarity from a watching world.

It’s time to name the shame of collective punishment and to end it in all its forms. It’s time to be revolted by violence against civilians and for civilians on both sides to be safe. It’s time for both sides to release their prisoners and give those justly accused a fair trial.  It’s time to reunite the people of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It’s time for all parties to obey international humanitarian and human rights law.

It’s time to share Jerusalem as the capital of two nations and a city holy to three religions. It’s time for Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities to be free to visit their holy sites. It’s time in Palestine as in Israel for olive trees to flourish and grow old.

It’s time to honour all who have suffered, Palestinians and Israelis. It’s time to learn from past wrongs. It’s time to understand pent-up anger and begin to set things right. It’s time for those with blood on their hands to acknowledge what they have done.  It’s time to seek forgiveness between communities and to repair a broken land together. It’s time to move forward as human beings who are all made in the image of God.

All who are able to speak truth to power must speak it. All who would break the silence surrounding injustice must break it. All who have something to give for peace must give it.

For Palestine, for Israel and for a troubled world, it’s time for peace.

love the eyes

1 Sep

The inter-religious soccer match is played in Rome’s Olympic Stadium today, gathering greats from around the world, featuring Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist players. The match is intended to promote peace and to raise money for at-risk kids. The event has the backing of Pope Francis.

This video has the match’s mascot, Plim Plim, playing Pope Francis.

Okay, it is silly. But the music and the pope’s eyes made me smile.