Ash Wednesday

“Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.” Isaiah 58:12

“Lord, who throughout these forty days
for us didst fast and pray,
teach us with thee to mourn our sins
and close by thee to stay.”
“Lord, who throughout these forty days” vs. 1, Claudia F. Hernaman 1873

A farmer prays over a newly planted tree

A farmer prays over a newly planted tree

As we enter the season of Lent, we are reminded yet again to pray and to fast… to pray and to act… it is more than praying on its own.  Images of prayer fill my mind… traditional ones… head down, eyes closed, and speaking quietly to God.  But there are so many other images we can consider… prayers with action… praying and planting trees… praying and walking.

Living in the greater Bethlehem area… we pray and we act.  Last week, we planted trees as a response to prayer in action.  Trees had been uprooted in a valley, and the response by the Palestinian Christian family was to replant and to plant more trees*.  This season of Lent, what are the ways you too can pray and act?  The Palm Sunday palms have become the ashes… the destruction of trees has become the opportunity for grace through action.

Let us pray,

Amazing and ever-loving God, as we begin the season of Lent, may we be reminded through your grace how we are to love through prayers and action.  Amen.

 by Rev. Kristen L. Brown, GBGM Mission Liaison to Palestine and Israel

*Post note: for more information about the Nassar family, please check out their website

In May 2014 some 1800 trees were uprooted during the night in the valley of their farm land.  This happened days before the apricot harvest.  The variety of trees uprooted included apricot, olive, grape vines, apple, and almonds.  The winter months are the tree planting time… so each Saturday, weather permitting, people gather to help replant trees, the hope it to plant some 3000 fruit trees to replace those which were uprooted.

Sadly these kinds of things happen in too many places in the West Bank of Occupied Palestine.


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