I don’t usually post two days in a row, but this is just a short appeal in the light of the terrible conflict unfolding in Israel and Palestine. This struggle has been ongoing since 1948, and both sides have reasons to feel aggrieved. I won’t go into the details of the conflict itself, as doing so can lead to all kinds of misunderstanding and division, but I do want to express concern about some of the reaction already emerging in the West, especially among Christians. I want to put a few markers in the ground:
– This is not a free pass to hate on Muslims. These events do not offer Christians or anyone else permission for evil.
– A Jewish life and a Muslim life are equal in God’s sight.
– Seeing this through an ‘end-times’ lens is a mistake. Doing so distances a person from the pain experienced by families and communities, and grants permission to stop caring in favour of obsessing over a religious narrative.
Right now, division and strife are beckoning, tempting believers to take a side and then fall out with others who pick the other. Let’s not fall into that that trap, applying addictive religious narratives that permit us to see one group of people as somehow less than human. Let’s stick with love and compassion of Jesus, and pray for our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters. The Bible exhorts us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, so let’s continue to do exactly that – not through one nation’s domination of another, terrorism, violence, the seizure of land, or religious nationalism, but through dialogue, diplomacy, and humility.
Lord have mercy on Israelis and Palestinians alike. We pray the fires of conflict will be put out, and that you will appoint leaders who fight for peace above all else. Amen.