Mission Impossible! a comment on the current escalation in Israel/Palestine violence

The following is a note by the President of Bethlehem Bible College, Jack Sara, on the current troubles engulfing the West Bank and Gaza.  It was published on the excellent ‘Come and See – a Christian web site from Nazareth‘.

This post is re-printed here with the personal permission of Jack, a faithful Christian, a fearless advocate of biblical truth and justice, a Palestinian, and a friend.  I will never forget our conversation over breakfast a couple of years ago!!

Mission Impossible! By Jack Sara

By: Bader Mansour

Mission Impossible! By Jack Sara

During the current events in our country, the only description that one can give is: Blood + Blood.
There is bloodshed in every corner; anger, frustration and rage. Someone is stabbed here, another is stabbed there. People are shot for no reason. Fear and anger rage in the streets, and the frustration is rising. It seems people have lost every hope they had.
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In the light of the past and current events, one wonders if peace is still possible. Is there any chance for peace to survive? Every peace initiative has hit a high wall, leaving our nations afraid and frustrated. It seems that violence is the only thing that they resort to.
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In the middle of all of this, where is the believing community? Where are those who are willing to say no to the boundary lines, no to hate and enmity, no to death and destruction?
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Sadly speaking even believing communities in Israel and Palestine–those who have experienced Christ personally and have pledged allegiance to a higher power, to the God of love and mercy–have also fallen into an apathetic slumber. Each one is contained within the boundaries of their own tribe and community, each one is stuck in their own affairs. There are no cries for the violence to stop, no cries for reconciliation, no cries even for repentance before God. We have let the evil one rule our land, we have given him the keys to the souls of our peoples.
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The problem is that those who believe in Christ often fall into giving allegiances to other gods; we are entangled in the worship of our own national dreams. Therefore, in the relationship between Israeli and Palestinian believers, you will find that our communities pay their first allegiance to their respective nations. We forget that as the Body of Christ in the Holy Land we have a higher calling to our Lord Jesus and to each other. We forget that together we are part of “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
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Forgetting our new identity in Christ causes us to fall into apathetic slumber. We become indifferent towards the other; towards their pain, their suffering and hardships. Maybe we even begin to forget that we all are sinners fallen short of the glory of God. We begin to feel that “our nation” is superior; that “we” deserve to live and “they” deserve to die.
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To be honest with you all, it is tempting to give up and come to the edge of losing hope. It is easier to enter into the despair which says Que Sera Sera. Yet is that it? Is it our calling to give up?
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As someone who has put my faith in a God that knows no impossibilities, I have preached and believed and seen that God that can change the hardest hearts and minds. For over two decades, have seen God doing miracles in people whose hearts were hard and angry. I have seen Him soften them and make them clean and new with His love.
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I must continue to believe Him. Will you believe with us?
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Please pray with us for:
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1. Pray for the believing communities in Palestine and Israel, the body of Christ. Pray that we will not to give up on our calling be holy nation and royal priesthood with a mandate to intercede for our people and to witness to them and bring them to Christ.
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2. Pray for our leaders, that they will not harden their hearts; but rather that God may give them the wisdom they need to lead our nations into peace.
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3. Pray that all the extreme voices on both sides will be stopped—those whose main desire is to see blood; who are living out and acting out the will of the evil one who brings death and destruction upon our peoples.
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4. Pray for boldness for the body of Christ to speak the truth in love and not be afraid.
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5. Pray for healing in the body of Christ. There are still so many hurting due to our surrender to our own flesh. Pray that the Lord may release us from the bondage of tribal thinking.
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6. Pray for new initiatives of bridge buildings, based on true love and acceptance of the other regardless of our differences.
“May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God” (Galatians 6:16 NLT).
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The following video, separate to the blog, came through the Bethlehem Bible College Facebook feed:
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