Tag: Prayers

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

Did you notice the #P4PREVISITED image above? 

Whenever you see that hashtag, you're being alerted that we are revisiting a previous post. 

We recognize that all prayers for peace echo through the generations- worship and praise, petition and intercession, supplication, thanksgiving, and lament are the prayers of the faithful. 
Read more

An Uncertain Future for Yanoun

Home to approximately 40 people, Yanoun is an idyllic small agricultural village from which one can witness some of the most stunning sunrises and warm, generous ahlan wasahlan’s (welcome). However, no more than 500 meters (1640 ft.) to the neighboring hilltops sit the illegal outposts of Itamar, Gavot Olam, Outpost 777, 836, and 782. Yanoun has had a dark history due to these outposts, which are home to some of the most radical Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

In 2002, Israeli settlers invaded the village and forced them out through violence and harassment. Routinely, the settlers would come Saturday evenings with firearms and dogs, beating men in front of their families, damaging village property, and overrunning family homes.  They told the people of Yanoun to leave within the week, and the entire village fled. Only with the help of international and Israeli peace organizations providing 24/7 protective presence in Yanoun were the families able to return a year later. Though there have not been any recent outbursts of violence, the settlers continue to deeply impact the villagers through harassment, limiting their freedom of movement, damaging property, and stealing the village’s land.

Read more

Easter Sunday: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Then Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
Luke 24:44-47

Hallelujah! He is risen! He is risen indeed! Throughout this Lenten season we have walked with Jesus as he performed miracles, taught in parables, and wept over the city of Jerusalem. We have also taken a closer look at the city of Jerusalem todaywhy it is considered holy by the three Abrahamic religions, and its contemporary political situation. It is only fitting that we reflect on Jesus’ command after his resurrection, when he appeared to his disciples. Read more

Holy Saturday: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5

Today, on Holy Saturday, the sacred light or “Holy Fire”—the fire that lights the tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem—comes out into the world. The fire from the tomb is spread from candle to candle all over the church and throughout the streets of the Old City—a powerful symbol of the way that Christ’s light is spread into the world. However, many of us still feel as though we are in darkness, and that Christ’s light has not yet come to us. Read more

Good Friday: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Luke 23:44-49

A common African American spiritual sung on Good Friday goes, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” Of course, none of us were there, yet we remember this event, today. Some of us will hear readings of Jesus’ seven last words found in the Gospels. Others will sit in candlelit churches and feel the darkness creep in as each candle is extinguished. Many will sing hymns, as music has a way of capturing the deep emotions we often struggle to articulate. Read more

First Sunday of Lent: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
Then Solomon said,
“The Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness.
I have built you an exalted house,
   a place for you to dwell in forever.”
1 Kings 8:10-13

For the first three Sundays of Lent we will be focusing on Jerusalem as a city shared by three faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This week we look closer at the deep meaning Jerusalem holds for the Jewish people. In 1 Kings 8:10-13, we catch a glimpse of the dedication of the First Temple, built by King Solomon. Although the temple has since been destroyed, rebuilt, and destroyed again, this passage captures the significance of Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God. It is for this reason that the Western Wall has become the holiest site in Judaism today, as it is the closest Jews are able to get to the Temple Mount, particularly the Holy of Holies where the Presence of God dwelt. It is generally believed that praying at the Western Wall, either from the Jewish prayer book or by placing prayers in the cracks of the wall, is especially efficacious because of its proximity to the site of the Holy of Holies. Read more

Uniting Christians in the Holy Land, Middle East Council of Churches

The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) is a council of church bodies throughout the Middle East: Lebanon, Jerusalem and the West Bank, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq. In some ways, it’s like an extended family gathering. In fact, the MECC is organized around four families of churches – Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical/Protestant. Together, these churches are working to support each other and build bridges between people and groups in the Middle East.

MECC was founded in 1974 as a collaboration between the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Protestant churches of the region. The Catholic church joined in 1990 as a fourth tradition on the council. Each of these four “ecclesial families” is represented by a president and members on MECC’s executive committee. Working as an ecumenical group is not always easy, and building a consensus among the different churches can be a long process. But the result is that MECC can offer powerful statements that carry the weight of their shared deliberation. Fr. Michel Jalakh is Secretary General of the Council, with the headquarters located in Beirut, Lebanon.
Read more

Consider It All Joy

by Elli Atchison

Peter and Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, March 2016

Peter and Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, March 2016

Peter is special…. and it shows. This young man from Bethlehem has a twinkle in his eyes and a magnetic smile that draws a stranger in close.  Life has been challenging for him as Peter was born with hearing impairments that made learning difficult. This would ordinarily put him in a segment of Palestinian society that is marginalized and cast aside.

However, despite his inability to communicate with words, Peter is outgoing and makes friends easily.  He is a talented artist and an accomplished olive wood carver. Peter thanks the Joy School for giving him the opportunity to learn and develop these skills. Read more

Thy Kingdom Come

by Elli Atchison

Jesus was no stranger to the suffering of our world.  He experienced every trial we face today.   He did not come to immediately bring an end to sadness and suffering or poverty and injustice.  He did not come to overthrow a government or to end political occupations. He came to show us a better way to live, amidst the many tribulations that plague our world. He came that we might have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) Jesus came to usher in the Kingdom of God on earth.

During the three years Jesus traveled throughout the Holy Land, He constantly talked about the Kingdom. Many times He spoke of it in ways that confused His followers. But, His perfect actions demonstrated the lessons he wanted to teach those who chose to follow Him. The rules of the Kingdom include loving God through obedience and loving others before oneself. They include praying for enemies, refusing to retaliate against evil, and showing kindness even when others don’t. Kingdom values also teach us to trust in God to provide for our needs and all the while to embrace suffering that just does not seem fair. Read more

Jesus was no stranger to death and sorrow.

This is the fourth in a week long series.

 

by Elli Atchison

Jesus lost loved ones during His time on earth.  He knows that the death of someone we love creates a hole in the heart that is hard to fill.  

It is assumed Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, passed away before His ministry began. As a young man, Jesus would have grieved the death of His earthly father. He would have had to walk through that grief with His mother Mary and his siblings. Jesus’ own cousin, John the Baptist, was unjustly imprisoned and brutally murdered by Herod Antipas. Jesus, himself being fully human, sought solitude and prayer to deal with the pain of this tragic loss. (Matt 14:10,13) He also loved a dear friend named Lazarus who became sick and died. Jesus was so deeply moved by the pain of Lazarus’ sisters and He wept openly with them. (John 11: 33,35) 

How would Jesus comfort an Israeli man who lost his wife to a violent stabbing by an angry Palestinian? Surely this husband would be justified in his feelings of bitter hate and a longing for revenge. (Exodus 21:24) Left alone to raise their children would be a constant reminder of their family’s tragic loss. The course of their lives would be forever changed.   Read more

1 2 3 4 5