October 13th, 2023 | Rev. Rachel Williams
It is hard to put into words my feelings over the horrifying news coming out of Israel and Palestine these past few days. The reality is that most of us are third-party observers, taking in content while safely ensconced in our homes thousands of miles away.
For some of you, the connection is more real, as trips to Israel and Palestine have allowed you to form friendships and bonds with people in these areas. I can only imagine how harrowing this time is for you. Our news cycle is so quick, that it’s hard to catch up on all the latest details while also remaining emotionally connected. Because we, as humans, need time to process violence of this magnitude and speed does not afford us the privilege of time. Nevertheless, we can recognize and condemn the inhumane treatment and tragic murder of civilians - women, children, the elderly, and people caught in the crossfires of military response. And we can cry out in prayer for the cessation of violence. God hears that cry.
As a parent, I cry out for the parents who have lost children.
As a child, I cry out for the children who have lost parents.
As a Christian, I cry out for the tragic, violent loss of life of all people.
That’s hard to type. That’s something I wrestle with every time an atrocity like this occurs. It’s an impossible evil. Every human is made in the Image of God, but some turn away from God’s love. And still, by God’s grace, God is with us, always. God walks with us in our grief. God weeps alongside of us. God mourns the loss of life of God’s beloved children. God is with us in our anguish.
As we cry out to the Lord for peace, we know that God can move mountains. Let us pray not for a peace one day but let us believe that when we pray peace may come now. As a people who pray, as a people who hope, let us cry out for peace today.
And if you feel at a loss of what to pray, remember the breath prayer of Lamentations 3:22-23.
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning
Great is your faithfulness"
With Grace and Peace,