Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Journey to Bethlehem in Advent, 2009

Journey to Bethlehem in Advent, Meditations on a Pilgrimage

When I have visited Israel and Palestine and heard the stories of the people there - both Israeli and Palestinian - who are working for peace and reconciliation, I have asked what I can do as an American to support their work. They always tell me, "Tell our story." One person told me that surely, if Americans knew what was really happening, our government's policies would change and there would be a more balanced approach, honoring both Israel's needs and Palestinians' needs.

So, again this year I am writing about these amazing people. Reading the texts for Advent, I remember the land I have walked on my travels to Bethlehem and the amazing people I met who have shown me what it really means to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, to bring good news to the widow and orphan, to the prisoner and those held captive. The ones imprisoned behind the 24-foot high security barrier Israel is building in the middle of the city in Bethlehem.

The meditation are some of the stories I heard on my visits to Israel and Palestine in 2008 and 2009--stories of desperation and stories of amazing gospel-good-news-hope from the Christians, Jews and Muslims living today on the holy land of Jesus' birth. Read the meditations for your Advent devotions:

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