In Touch October 30, 2009
Posted on October 31, 2009 by under Touché,

Spirituality and Sheetrock 

I am glad  I got out of  Jerusalem when I did.  This past week there was conflict on the Temple Mount and Palestinian youths faced off against Israeli police in the old city.  I am sure that it would have affected my shopping.  The week before we arrived in the Holy Land the Old City was closed as well because of tensions.  Henry Mikhail, our resident HRC deacon and Holy Land host, was afraid that we would come to the Holy Land and not be able to get into Old Jerusalem.  We hit the week in the middle and all was O.K. for our trip, but all is not O.K. in the city of David.  It is a sad and tense situation there.

There is not a place on earth that is more associated with God and religion than the city of Jerusalem, but it is certainly one place on earth where people seem to have a very hard time getting along.  The lesson of the Christ who rode a donkey through the streets of that city was simple: love God and love others, yet in so many ways people see religion as a force that divides and destroys rather than bringing hope and love.

While Jerusalem was in turmoil I spent Thursday on Rte 44 in Pleasant Valley.  Love was put in action in the name of Jesus in the home of the Kirkpatrick’s.  Thomas, the son who is confined to a wheelchair after being hit by a truck a number of years ago, saw a bunch of guys from Community Maintenance Program (CMP) tear down his back porch and prepare to put up a new bed room for him.  He took off from school that day to sit and watch the destruction.  Many of the guys working had taken off from their jobs to help this family in need.  Tracey, Thomas’ mom, said to me, in tears, that she saw in this service the love that meant so much to her family.

The hope for the Peace of Jerusalem lies in the witness of love in Pleasant Valley .  When walls are broken down in love, there is hope to rebuild lives, families  and cities with joy. 

This Sunday I preach on Mark 12.  Jesus makes the message simple: love God, love others.  It is, quite simply, the hope of the world. 

In Christ,