Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sabeel Wave of Prayer
Each Thursday at noon in Jerusalem, Sabeel holds a Communion service that is open to the community. It is a time to join together to celebrate the Eucharist, to discuss how the scriptures apply to our lives today, and to pray for the specific needs of this region. Following the 2006 Sabeel International Conference, the Friends of Sabeel coordinators met and discussed the idea of "Waves of Prayer." The premise is that in their respective time zones, individuals and groups around the world will pray together at 12:00 on Thursdays, in solidarity with Sabeel in Jerusalem and with "Friends of Sabeel" worldwide. Starting in Australia, passing through Palestine, and on around the world we will pray for Peace with Justice and focus on specific issues each week.
Wave of Prayer for Thursday, December 23, 2010
On Sunday, Human Rights Watch released a 166-page report, "Separate and Unequal," which describes "the two-tier system of laws, rules, and services that Israel operates for the two populations in areas in the West Bank under its exclusive control, which provide preferential services, development, and benefits for Jewish settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians." It condemns "such different treatment, on the basis of race, ethnicity, and national origin and not narrowly tailored to meet security or other justifiable goals" and calls for a number of actions to avoid supporting Israeli settlement policies, including for the US to withhold aid to Israel in an amount equal to what Israel spends on the settlements, about $1.4 billion. We pray for hearts and minds across the globe to be open to this report and its suggestions. (http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/12/18/israelwest-bank-separate-and-unequal)
The Israeli military demolished three water cisterns and two wells that pre-dated 1967 in the Southern West Bank for no given reason. We pray for the villagers and animals who depended on these wells for drinking water in an area where life-giving water is extremely scarce, and for an end to this senseless and destructive violence.
We pray for the many pilgrims coming to Bethlehem for Christmas, that they will be given the opportunity to see beyond the ancient stones to the "living stones," the people of this land who are struggling for a life of peace with justice.
As Christmas comes ever nearer, we remember all those who gather for cultural events and performances. We give thanks for groups such as Shibat, or the "gray-haired ones," a six-man rock 'n roll Christmas band who bring joy that is often absent in the struggles of daily life under occupation to young and old in this blessed season.
With the Prayer Cycle of the World Council of Churches, we pray for: