URC Daily Devotion 15 November 2023

Wednesday, 15 November 2023
 
2 Corinthians 5 18:21

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Reflection

Just as Christ reconciled us with God, he assigns us the ministry of reconciliation. We have been called to act as Christ’s ambassadors for righteous action.  To do so effectively we must learn of other peoples and ally ourselves with the Palestinian people.

I arrived in Tel Aviv, with no clue of what I was walking into, although I ardently believed that I was aware of the situation in Israel/Palestine.  I was in for a surprise!  The Western media’s narrative of the equally yoked conflict was completely turned on its head the moment I sat in the taxi leaving the airport; realising that I was on a segregated road solely designated for Israeli citizens.  The driver took an alternative route, so that we did not have to go through a heavily militarised checkpoint on the way to my destination.

At the Bethlehem guesthouse, in the occupied West Bank, I finally met my fellow international participants on the trip.  We became fast friends navigating this new environment together.  Our first excursion was to Jerusalem where we walked the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Suffering, which is the path of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; but not on the same spiritual path as most other pilgrims.  Through the contextualisation of the Bible in a modern setting, we began our path by learning of the execution of an autistic Palestinian man called Iyad Hallaq who was killed by Israeli soldiers on his way to school.  This event traversed the same space that Jesus walked to Golgotha. Seemingly unrelated events linked by the fact that Jesus was born and lived under Roman occupation and died by state execution.   The realities of the Palestinian people can be understood through this lens.

The land and the people, especially the young people, I met with were truly the Word manifest.  I have borne witness to a unique state, with trauma and conflict but within that, enduring hope for real justice and peace.

Prayer

Lord of justice, guide us: show us the path forward.
It may be difficult, You may lead us to uncomfortable road,
But we trust in Your divine vision,
to see conflicts cease and relationships healed.
Give us the courage to walk this path,
Amen. 

 

Today’s writer

Philippa Osei 

 

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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