I’m away from the blog this week, and I’ve asked my friends to fill in. Here’s a post from Jon Huckins. Jon is part of Nieu Communities, one of the most innovative Christian organizations around, and the co-author of Thin Places: Six Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Community.
Through my work in co-founding The Global Immersion Project, I have spent significant amount of time over the years cultivating relationships among both Israelis and Palestinians as we partner together in cultivating a narrative of reconciliation. As is often the case when we approach a people or place with the hopes of being/bringing the needed change, I have been the one most changed by my friends and colleagues who reside in the Middle East. Behind so many of the subconscious stereotypes and prejudices I had acquired earlier in my life I began to experience the richness of friendship and brotherhood among people I had previously “known” only through the latest sound bite.
Something I have learned in the classroom of real life relationships with Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land is that our theology in the West has direct implications for the everyday lives of those in the Middle East. Often ignoring the remarkable movements of peacemaking, reconciliation and collaboration that are sprouting like mustard seeds of hope across the Holy Land, we often choose only to make note of the violence, discord and disintegration of the region.
Why is that and what theology might we be allowing to consciously (or often subconsciously) own our perspective on the events in the Holy Land?