And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look, he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows: a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many people
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For a vanished April
To return to its crossed
Boughs. The son watched
Them. Let me go there, he said.
Almighty and merciful God, with great power you gathered the first Christians in the city of Jerusalem, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, defying the earthly power of the Roman empire. Grant that, like this first church in Jerusalem, the we may come together to be bold in preaching and living the good news of reconciliation and peace, wherever there is inequality and injustice.
We give thanks to you for Christian everywhere who pray for the peace of Palestine and Israel; Jerusalem is much in need of your peace.
Make as nothing all barriers of cultures and religions and fill the hearts of all who serve you, from both peoples, Israeli and Palestinian alike.
May political leaders be ready to dedicate their lives to a just peace for their peoples. Make them courageous enough to sign a treaty of peace that puts an end to the occupation imposed by one people on another, granting freedom to Palestinians, giving security to Israelis and freeing all from fear.
Free the land from the sin of hatred and killing. Free Israelis and Palestinians from this sin. Give liberation to the people of Gaza who live under unending trials and threats. We pray also for the refugees scattered across the world because of this conflict.
Heavenly Father, we believe that your goodness will prevail over the evils of war and hatred.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who liberates us from the bondage of sin and death.
Jerusalem, Jean David
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:" Psalm 122.6.
Herbert Howells, "O Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem" Sheffield Chamber Choir directed by Robert Webb, Peterborough Cathedral, 2012.
May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.