Just after viewing the Hafrada Wall in Bethlehem, we learned of rockets and retaliatory air strikes at the Gaza Strip. At Evening Prayer that night, I looked in the hymnal for “God of Grace and God of Glory,” remembering this line: “Cure thy children’s warring madness.”
Visiting Israel is an encounter with cognitive dissonance. Just a few miles from the Wall (security barrier and/or instrument of separation and oppression, depending on one’s perspective), we saw big signs wishing Muslim residents of Jerusalem a blessed Ramadan. As the sirens blared to call us to a moment of remembrance on Yom Ha’Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we were next to the Dome of the Rock, where non-Muslims are not permitted to pray. As someone asked at last night’s group meeting, “Why do we keep doing this to each other?”
The Cathedral’s hymnal had an extra new-to-me verse of “God of Grace” that has become my prayer mantra in this broken and beautiful place: “Gird our lives that they may be armoured with all Christlike graces in the fight till all be free. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, that we fail not earth nor thee.”
One thought on “Till All Be Free”
After hearing the news yesterday and again today, we have all prayed for peace and safety for all of you pilgrims, as well as for the citizens of these Holy Lands. We are so enjoying the posts and talking about them together. David assured the church yesterday that you were all safe and well cared for. It’s with great sadness that I think this land that you walk on, has been torn for so long and appears that it will continue this way. God of peace and healing pray for us all.