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Friday, August 11, 2006


Joel at the Connexions blog has challenged other Methodist bloggers to write about the war in Lebanon.

Honestly, the reason I haven't said anything about the conflict is that I don't have any answers. Who is wrong? Who is right? Or are both sides wrong? I don't know. But I do know this: God doesn't like to see any of his children hurting each other.

Thousands of years ago, the prophet Micah foresaw a time when:

In days to come
   the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
   and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it,
   and many nations shall come and say:
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
   to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
   and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
   and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
   and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
   and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
   neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
   and no one shall make them afraid;
   for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

- Micah 4:1-4

Those days, obviously, have not arrived. Is there anything we can do to bring this vision to reality? Is there any way we can make a difference in God's timetable?

As I said above, I have no answers. I simply ask that you join me in prayer over this and other conflicts in the Middle East.

Jehovah Shalom, God of peace,
  of mercy and compassion, of grace and reconciliation,
  pour your power upon all your children in the Middle East:
    Jews, Muslims and Christians,
    Lebanese, Israelis, Palestinians, Iraqis.
  Let hatred be turned into love,
  fear to trust,
  despair to hope,
  oppression to freedom,
  occupation to liberation,
that violent encounters may be replaced by loving embraces,
and peace and justice could be experienced by all. Amen

(Adapted from The Reverend Said Ailabouni's prayer in Prayers for Peace for the Middle East, 2003)

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