Posted by: morgan1965 | January 15, 2011

Peace in Jerusalem and Beyond

The start of a New Year provides fresh beginnings for all of God’s people. In other words, God makes it possible for us to experience new opportunities. Yet, I am aware of the reality of “man’s inhumanity to man” that limits the opportunities and freedom of so many people in the world.

I just returned to West Virginia from Israel where I was privileged to journey on a ten day pilgrimage with some eighty people from the West Virginia Annual Conference. We visited many of the holy sites that were a part of Jesus’ life and ministry. As we traveled, we saw members of the Jewish population and members of the Palestinian population.

I could not help but wonder about the divisions in Israel and the walls of separation that exist there. For example, the City of Bethlehem has been walled in, and the Israeli army determines who enters and who leaves the city. Bethlehem is a Palestinian City and the Palestinian people cannot leave Bethlehem without a special permit from the Israeli government. There are checkpoints manned by the Israeli army.

On the last day of our pilgrimage, we visited the holocaust museum in Jerusalem. That was an awesome experience, and a cruel reminder of “man’s inhumanity to man.” The museum, among other things, depicts how the Jewish people were placed into ghettoes, isolated from the general population in Nazi Germany and other German controlled countries at that time. Such isolation was often followed by placement in concentration camps. Eventually, six million Jews were exterminated by the Nazi regime.

It appears to me that when you wall in a city and set up check points and restrict the flow of human traffic, this is a form of modern day apartheid, reminiscent of South Africa’s former rigid system of apartheid. Is the Israeli government practicing a form of apartheid? In America, our movements are not in any way restricted. We have the freedom to travel from state to state and city to city. We do not need special governmental permission to travel out of our city of residence.

While in Jerusalem, I prayed for peace in Israel and in all the nations of the world. It was a wonderful experience to go to the “wailing wall” and place my written prayer concerns in a small space between the stones. I asked God to be the mediator of peace in Jerusalem and beyond. It will be God’s fresh beginnings that will bring peace in Jerusalem, Israel and the nations of the world.

Oh that every child in the world could experience peace in their “village” and have the opportunity to live, play, learn, grow and become an adult. I invite you to pray daily for peace in God’s world as we traverse the New Year 2011.

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