“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9: 6)

Photo taken by Bishop Daniel: Tree in the Garden of Gethsemane

In 2018, I joined a number of ELCA Bishops and pastors on a trip to Palestine and Israel. We spent time learning from Israeli religious leaders and Palestinians living in refugee camps. We met with political leaders from the Israeli Knesset and the Palestinian Authority. We visited Augusta Victoria Hospital and several Lutheran churches and schools. We toured the thirty-foot high, militarized seperation barrier that cuts the West Bank off from Israel and talked with the Israeli Defense Force engineer who designed it. We spent time in a kibbutz way out in the desert north of Gaza where young Israeli families were eeking out a living.

We heard a lot of accusatory language and propaganda of all sides. But what we heard from the folks living in the kibbutz, the families struggling in the refugee camps, and children learning in the school, was a strong desire for an end to all hostilities. The ordinary folk of this Holy Land simply desire peace. This is what they long for and pray for. As followers of the Prince of Peace, let us prayerfully consider ways that we may bring peace to all those who long to live in peace.

Yes, we can pray:
“O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let me designed of your great love shine on the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to your church, peace among nations, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Evangelical Lutheran Worship (pg. 72)

Yes, we can sing:
I especially love Hymn #753 Dona Nobis Pacem in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. The Latin words of this canon are translated, “Grant Us Peace”. Ask your pastor or choir director to sing Dona Nobis Pacem during worship in the next week or month. Listen to a version by the 2016 Fairfield County Children’s Choir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MszVs1YHsk

And yes, we can give:
To support those in need of assistance in the Middle East through Lutheran Disaster Response please click below for the opportunity to give.
Click here to give!

Click below to watch the Jerusalem Youth Chorus perform a song written from their own experiences as Palestinian and Israeli Youth. Learn more about the Jerusalem Youth Chorus here: https://jerusalemyouthchorus.org/