Lent: Devotion reflection from the Holy Land, Week Two

“Ah, Holy Jesus”

Who was the guilty?  Who brought this upon thee?  Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee!  ‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee; I crucified thee.

United Methodist Hymn # 289 words by Johann Heermann

Scripture for the day, Philippians 3:17- 4:1

“Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.” – Philippians 3:17

wall photo to exist is to resist

A Palestinian friend of mine had in his car a small poster which said “To exist is to resist.”  It picked up the Arab concept of “Sumud – which translates as “Steadfastness.”  It means rather more than the English word does.  It has an active sense alongside the sense of placid stillness.

St. Paul says, “And we eagerly await a saviour from there (heaven), the Lord Jesus Christ.”  We are called to wait – wait in expectation for our Lord.  But Christian waiting is not a passive thing.  While we wait we serve, while we wait we witness, while we wait we seek to guide others too, to know the love of God that knows no bounds.

Lent leads us to the death of Jesus on the cross.  “Twas I Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee; I crucified thee.”  The realisation that our sin has offended God, that our sin has led Jesus to the cross, forever reminds us of how little steadfastness we show in our lives.  May the example of the Palestinian people confronted by so many problems, yet remaining steadfast, inspire us to have that spiritual steadfastness that sustains our hope in the coming of the Kingdom, in every moment, in every day – no matter what we face.

Lord Jesus Christ, give to us that steadfastness of spirit we see in Jesus.  Even when we face struggles and seemingly hopeless problems may we follow the example of Jesus as he travels to Golgotha.  Amen.

Devotion written by Rev. John Howard, The Chair of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District of the Methodist Church in Britain.  Rev. Howard also participated in a special program in Palestine and Israel for three months in 2012 with the EAPPI program of the World Council of Churches.  He has lead multiple groups to this area over the years.

Photographs:

The wooden wall, a project of the YWCA of Jerusalem, photograph taken by Rev. Kristen L. Brown

The graffiti on the wall in Bethlehem near Checkpoint 300, the wall was painted over, white washed, in 2014 before the visit of the Pope Francis, photograph provided by Usama Nicola

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