by Elli Atchison
Throughout Scripture, God’s demand for justice is repeatedly seen. His righteousness cannot allow sin to go unpunished forever. However, in His patient love, God often withholds the punishment that His justice demands, giving every opportunity for His people to repent and return their hearts to Him. (2 Peter 3:9)
Jesus came to this earth to be THE answer to God’s ultimate call for justice. Though He was blameless in every way, Jesus willingly took the weight of the world’s sin upon Himself. He suffered on the cross and paid the ransom of God’s justice through His own blood. This ultimate act of amazing love and mercy by Jesus was to prevent His beloved children from facing the consequences of justice that our sins rightfully deserve. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17) Read more
by Elli Atchison, World Vision
Two weeks ago I was privileged to be part of a World Vision delegation in the Holy Land. Twenty women gathered from all corners of the United States to visit people living and working in Israel and the West Bank. Most of the ladies had never been to the region before. Those of us who were returning yearned to understand the issues better.
Together we journeyed throughout the land, seeking perspectives from Israelis and Palestinians. We were also seeking spiritual insights and the wisdom of Jesus that could help us make sense of this tragic conflict.
We met so many amazing people who told the stories of their very different lives. Our days were full of listening, learning, and asking questions. And continually I challenged my companions and myself: ”You hear stories of pain on both sides of this conflict. You see the hardships of life under occupation. But, where do you see Jesus?” Read more
by Elli Atchison, World Vision
As the hype around the Israeli elections comes to a close, the watching world questions if new peace talks are possible in the near future. The international community has been supportive over the years. They have encouraged the peace process and provided financial and diplomatic aid to protect Israel’s security and democracy in the region. However, frustration seems to be growing and patience is getting thin. There are many questions about the future of the Holy Land, but the one thing that is certain is that status quo of life in Israel and the Palestinian Territories cannot continue.
All people living in the Holy Land have unmet needs. Israelis want to feel safe and secure. Palestinians want live in freedom without the occupation. All want economic opportunities that will improve the lifestyles of their families and their hopes for a better future. These are common needs and basic desires from two groups of people who were created by the same God. Read more
by Craig Swandby, World Vision
Though many Israelis, Palestinians, and United States stakeholders have watched U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy with suspicion, I can’t help but acknowledge that his relentless efforts are laudable, and also appropriate. The status quo of violence, instability, and injustice cannot continue. It must end.
In the coming weeks, Kerry will publicly reveal his plan—the framework agreement. Cynicism and skepticism persist, and communities are preparing to defend their interests should the Kerry plan fall short of their expectations.
The stakes are high, and we must go before the Lord in prayer. We pray for lasting peace and justice for our neighbors and fellow Christians and all others in the Holy Land. Read more
Organization Highlight: Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA) – Impact: Holy Land Conference
ESA is convening a conversation—Impact: Holy Land—in Philadelphia, Penn., on December 4-6, 2013, to hear from Jesus followers around the world on what we can do to foster peace with justice in the Holy Land. Many are seeking to have a positive “impact” on the area—for all the populations living there.
At Impact: Holy Land, we will gather to listen well to the diverse stories and perspectives of Palestinian Christians, Christian Zionists, Messianic Jews, and other followers of Jesus. All of these perspectives reflect serious engagement with scriptural texts and political realities in lands that carry deep meaning for our faith. The event will culminate at the altar, where we will share in the body and blood of Christ together in Holy Communion. Read more