Peace Not Walls

Articles, stories, photos and video about keeping faith in the Holy Land and creating a peaceful, just environment where all humans can flourish.

Advent: Reflections from Bethlehem and devotional materials

Posted on December 6, 2012 by karin

Pastor Mitri Raheb of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem shares an advent greeting from the Holy Land. Christmas Lutheran does a simulcast Christmas Service between Bethlehem and the National Cathedral in Washington DC each year.  Find out more about this year’s simulcast on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 10 am EST.   Check out the new website for Bright Stars of Bethlehem, a US organization that supports the work of DIYAR Consortium, begun by Pastor Raheb in cooperation with  the ELCJHL.

In another article, Pastor Raheb reflects on the Christmas story in his hometown of Bethlehem:

Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus was a besieged city. Today Bethlehem is again a besieged city surrounded from three sides by a 25 foot high concrete wall.  So what if Jesus were to be born today in Bethlehem? If Jesus were to be born this year, he would not be born in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph would not be allowed to enter from the Israeli checkpoint, and so too the Magi. The shepherds would be stuck inside the walls, unable to leave their little town. Jesus might have been born at the checkpoint like so many Palestinian children while having the Magi and shepherds on both sides of the wall.

Full article

On the way to celebrate what happened in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, let us not forget the people who yearn for peace with justice now in Bethlehem and all over the Holy Land. Here are some Advent reflections by various people and organizations to help us remember:

 

 

2 Responses to 'Advent: Reflections from Bethlehem and devotional materials'

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  1. Ann Hafften said,

    on December 10th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Wow – all this material is so helpful. It’s easier to work on advocacy in congregations with biblical and theological framework. Thanks.


  2. on December 21st, 2012 at 6:39 am

    [...] In Sabeel’s annual Christmas message, Naim Ateek compares Israel to the Roman Empire, claiming that the “people of first century Palestine were looking for salvation and liberation from the oppressive yoke of the Roman Empire…Today’s Palestinians are looking for salvation and liberation from the oppressive yoke of Israel.” This antisemitic analogy, equating the Palestinians with Jesus and Israel with the evil Roman Empire responsible for his death, was also promoted on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Americawebsite. [...]

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