by Margaret & Victor Inegbedion
Christmas was cele-brated with particular meaning for those of us who went on the Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in October 2011.
We saw the place of the Annunciation, the Church of the Nativity, the Shepherd’s fields and we walked where Christ had walked. We were very fortunate to be there.
Our visit was not just to encourage us in the Faith, but also to support the struggling Palestinian people and to try to understand some of the complexities of living in a place which is holy to Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Our Parish had raised money for the planting of olive trees to help local families. We were not able to see the trees, but we did visit Bethlehem University. We found this to be particularly inspiring, especially to see young men and women of Islamic and Christian backgrounds studying comfortably together. This has surely to be a good model for the future peace of these communities.
We were given a postcard with a sample of some of the graffiti on the separation wall (this wall divides communities and causes so much anguish). This prayer was written on the back of the postcard:
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice,oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them,
To turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done,
To bring justice and kindness to all God’s wonderful children.
Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem and support the struggling Palestinian communities in whatever way you can.