This is part three of a week long series.
by Elli Atchison
He was born in a cave to poor parents in the shepherding community of Bethlehem. As an infant, His family fled to Egypt as refugees, trying to escape a genocide of the maniacal ruler King Herod. Throughout His adult ministry He had no home of His own. In a conversation with a would be follower, Jesus made His humble lifestyle clear: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” ( Matt. 8:20) All His life, Jesus was truly reliant upon God to provide.
So, what would Jesus say to a woman living in Gaza today? As He walked through the streets, He would easily see that the city still lies in rubble since the war two years ago. Controlled borders limit access to the supplies desperately needed to rebuild. Many families are still displaced and living in crowded shelters, like refugees in their own city. Simple necessities like electricity, and water are limited and rationed. But, the feelings of sadness and despair are abundant in the hearts of these suffering people. Read more
This is part two of a week long series.
by Elli Atchison
Jesus was no stranger to obedience and humble service. The King of Kings came quietly at his Father’s request. He lived among His broken and desperate people. He loved them and served them, literally to His death… upon on a Roman cross. But through His resurrection, He left us with hope and faith to carry on, in this troubled world. Believers know that evil will never have the final say. Ultimately His goodness will conquer all.
Jesus desires obedience in the lives of His people. “If you love me you will obey my commands.” (John:14:15). And His commands can be summed up in two straightforward steps: “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And then, love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark:12:29)
In Jesus’ day the Roman soldiers were everywhere in the land as He traveled. Their presence was meant to intimidate as much as it was to keep order among the people. These armed soldiers had the authority to carry out their tasks with as much force as the situation required, or their hearts’ desired. Similarly today, as one travels on the borders of the green line and throughout the West Bank, it is difficult to ignore the significant power and presence of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Read more
by Elli Atchison
During Lent and Holy Week, it is appropriate for us to reflect on places in today’s time where there is loss, poverty, and pain. Throughout His life, Jesus was closest to people who had succumb to illnesses, were ignored by society, and who were experiencing rejection and suffering. This series Jesus Was No Stranger seeks to look at some of those places in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. How would Jesus respond to some of the experiences of both Jewish Israelis and Palestinians today?
Over the next week we’ll offer prayers on the themes of:
Jesus was no stranger to . . .
. . . .life under occupation
. . . .obedience and humble service
. . . . a life of poverty
. . . . death and sorrow
. . . . persecution and pain
. . . . the cry for justice
Then we will wrap up the series with “Thy Kingdom Come” after Easter. Read more