Last night, about 20 EAPPI members (staff and Ecumenical Accompaniers) celebrated Christmas with the congregation and international guests of Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem. Rev. Mitri Raheb and Bishop Munib Younan presided along with additional Lutheran clergy. In his message, Bishop Younan offered these encouraging thoughts: “Palestinians and Israelis today face a common enemy: fear. In the absence of justice and peace, the common denominator is fear. Fear of the other. Fear for the future. Fear that freedom is not coming. Fear that children will grow in hatred. Fear of insecurity. Fear of the occupation. Fear is our common prison that keeps us locked up in cycles of mistrust and shattered dreams. It is a fear that builds non-productive ‘facts on the ground’. It is a fear that will only ever vanish when there is peace based on justice and reconciliation built on forgiveness. We proclaim that such a just peace is possible today. We pray that all political leaders will seize the opportunity before it is too late. The same message of the first Christmas rings true today, “Fear not!” There is a child who was born into a world of fear in order to take away that fear and to bring peace to earth and good will to humankind.”
Merry Christmas, All…
As a gift, I offer this photo array of a Nativity set crafted by Elias Giacaman of the Holy Land Arts Museum owned by Joseph E. Giacaman & Sons Co. Elias studied the scale of the Separation Wall in Bethlehem relative to the average height of people living in Bethlehem.
Salaam, shalom, peace…
Thank you for writing, Sherry Ann. You are as expressive in print as you are in person. Continued significance, safety, and health!
Thank you Sherry Ann. You have provided us with a lot of information and in a way that makes it a shared experience. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue in this challenging task.
Thank you for sharing those wonderful images, and the message of hope and possibility.
Thank you for those nice pictures… Palestine needs and appreciate people like you.. Whome first concern is working with the Palestinians and giving the world the real image of the situation in Palestine. God be with you and all who works for peace and justice
Shukran, Elias, and thanks to your family…for sharing your experiences and stories with the international community so that we might listen and stand with you for a just peace.
salaam, shalom, peace,