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Praying and Working Toward Peace this Advent Season

As Christians around the world prepare during this Advent Season to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, I pray we might realize how we are invited to contribute to peace in the world. 

Today, the Holy Land today is wrought with war, violence, death, and destruction. The horrific and criminal attacks by Hamas on October 7th killed more than 1,200 Israelis and international people and wounded countless others. The bombing campaign leveled against Gaza by Netanyahu’s government has caused the death of more than 15,000 Palestinian civilians, more than six thousand of whom are children. The world is broken and full of violence and never ending grief. 

Matthew 5:9 - Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. 

What does it mean to have hope in the midst of such a broken world?

Hope is empty if it does not touch us in the midst of the realities of this world. We have to be really honest with ourselves about how broken the world is - from our hearts, to our relationships, to our country, and to the world. 

Christians in Bethlehem and throughout Jordan and other parts of the Middle East have decided not to have Christmas celebrations this year. They will continue to worship, to celebrate the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Palestinian Christians will continue to pray, meditate on God’s word, and hold onto the promises of God’s love for them and for the world. But, they also will set aside earthly celebrations to stand in solidarity and grieve alongside of Palestinian people suffering the consequences of war and violence in Gaza. 

As Christians in the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world - we also are preparing our hearts to worship and celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace. And we have a role to play in bringing peace into the world by calling on our governments to support a bilateral ceasefire, an end to all violence against civilians, the release of all hostages, and immediate and adequate humanitarian assistance in Gaza. 

Peace is possible, and you have a role to play. Not just to listen and grieve alongside Israelis and Palestinians. You have a role to play in bringing an end to war. Support a cease fire now for the sake of civilians in Gaza and for all people in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. 

Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 

The darkest moment is when our faith is really put to the test. From an earthly perspective, it seems like there is no hope. But we hold onto the promise that the light will shine in the darkness and the darkness will not overwhelm it (John 1:5). In the midst of the darkness is when our faith matters the most and when we will hold onto hope that peace is possible and we will work together toward that end. Praying for peace and working toward justice. 

The greatest celebration of our faith is the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace and the Lord of Lords. Might God bring peace on earth, an end to violence, and the hope that all people in the Middle East and around the world might live without fear.

In Jesus, we find hope. 

If you are interested in learning more about ways you can engage and Stand in the G.A.P. - Give. Act. Pray. this Advent Season - learn more at our website for Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). 


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