Gentle Ben in the Holy Land

My latest piece for Pajamas Media is up this morning, entitled Pope Brings his Gentle Touch to the Holy Land.

An excerpt: Israel’s unending struggle is written into her very name, Isra-El: “struggles with God.” Since its formation in 1948, the world has watched the tumult of the modern state of Israel and one thing remains unclear: is the “struggle” between Israel herself and God, or between Israel and the world, with God beside her?

Either way, that Israel will always struggle should by now be understood, whether viewed through the lenses of history or scripture.

Pope Benedict XVI has been traveling about the Holy Land as a “pilgrim of peace” and each step — whether in Jerusalem or Bethlehem or Nazareth — has been a necessarily careful one, as though the built-up sludge of incessant struggle may hide a stumbling block. The squabbling children of Abraham who populate this land cry out for just resolutions to their conflicts, then wearily reject them all. Like nesting birds nicking shiny things, they grab at anything that offers a gleam of support for their staked claim and reject what does not shine their way.

Read it all here.

I had a little fun with this, making two small allusions to scripture that only New Testament readers might recognize. See if you can catch them.

This relates a little bit to this piece I wrote about believers and why they will always have difficulty coming together.

No, the re-design I mentioned last night has not happened yet, but my warnings from last night are still in place! Have a good one!

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