Lent: Week Four

“Ah, Holy Jesus”

For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation, thy mortal sorrow, and thy life’s oblation; thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion, for my salvation.

United Methodist Hymn # 289 words by Johann Heermann

Psalm 63:1-8

“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  Psalm 63:1

20151113_150757In a land filled with juxtapositions:  faith; politics; safety; security; water; land; roads; walls; bridges; checkpoints; food; educational opportunities; tunnels; trees; neighbors; refugee camps; settlements; friends; enemies… living in the Judean wilderness/desert, many challenges abound!

Despair and frustration exist amongst all the people living here, (and in the world).  And yet, our call, that which God requires of us, is “to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God.”  (Micah 6:8).  This is the hope of people of all faiths, as we strive to live in peace and justice together in this world.  The reality however, demonstrates a world where little trust exists and fear of other predominates.

20151202_103820In the midst of this situation, God brings hope.  As followers of Christ, we must seek this hope.  “For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.”  (Psalm 63:7).  Christians, the living stones of the Holy Land, continue to demonstrate their sumud, steadfast hope in God!  May we also seek this hope.

Lord, we pray for atonement, and ask for your intercession in the midst of life’s frustrations and injustices.  Grant us your hope and peace.  –Amen.

Devotion written jointly by Rev. Kristen L. Brown, Methodist Liaison in Palestine and Israel, a United Methodist Elder serving through the General Board of Global Ministries, and Rev. John Howard, an Elder of the Methodist Church of Britain serving as District Chair of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury district.

Photographs taken by Rev. Kristen Brown, the first one is with olive wood representation of the Wall project of the YWCA of Jerusalem, the other two from the village of Bir Ouna near Bethlehem where olive trees were uprooted and now a road is being constructed.

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