Skip to main content

"Blood Brothers"

Dear Friends,

In my continuing peacemaking education, I recently read the book Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour. He is a Christian - a Palestinian priest who grew up during the formation of the state of Israel. His family is part of a Church that dates back to the very beginnings of Christianity. It has been very helpful for me in coming to understand, in a very personal way, how the conflict has affected, and is still affecting, the Jews and Palestinians living in the area. Here's one story:

A man had asked Elias, who was his pastor, to come to his house because his mother was dying. After her death, Elias said to him, "We must surely invite your four brothers to come to see the body before she is buried." The brother responded, "We hate each other so much, if you invite them, you will have five funerals on your hands." This was an example of the animosity between people, even within families, in this village.

Later, in the middle of the worship on Easter morning, when everyone was at church, Elias walked to the doors of the church and chained them shut. He told the people, "We all know there is a lot of reconciliation that needs done here. And I know I can't do it, but Jesus can." There were ten minutes of silence while three nuns prayed. Then the brother mentioned above got up and confessed his hatred for his brothers. His brothers then came forward to hug him and each other. This was followed by the whole church spending an hour hugging and confessing to each other.

It has really challenged my understanding of peacemaking and of Jesus' call to love our enemies to read about Elias applying this call in his life. I call Elias the Martin Luther King Jr. of the conflict there, as he works at reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis, in nonviolent ways, at the grass roots level today.

Elias' personal faith is something I want to emulate in my life. I strongly recommend this book to get an understanding of the conflict there from a Christian, experiential point of view.

Pray for:

1. My upcoming slide presentations in California and Oregan, 10/19-11/6, that the Lord speak to all of us as I share about peacemaking.

2. That I may listen with openness to others who have very different viewpoints from my own.

3. Elias Chacour and his work.

Give thanks for 25 invitations to share about peacemaking.

Peace to you today,

Jim

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Temper Tantrum

Dear friends: A Temper Tantrum On a shopping trip to Aldi’s I noticed a mother with a girl who was two and a boy who was one sitting together in her cart.. The boy was having a temper tantrum. I know how embarrassing that can be. Besides she was just beginning to shop. So I thought maybe I could help settle him down. So I went over and tried to talk to him. But he would have nothing to do with me. So I just started talking to his sister. “How old are you? What’s your name? How old is your brother? . “What is his name? She replied “Noah.” Hearing his name the boy started to quiet down and pay attention. After some more question and answers the kids and I shook hands and said goodbye. Then we both did our shopping. We passed each other several times. The kids would say “Hi” and wave each time we saw each other. Then as we went through the checkout the mother remarked, “Thank you so much, what is your name?” the kids waved saying “Goodby…

Outside the Box

Dear Friends,       Outside the Box I am here to share about making peace with Isis nonviolently. I came to this in my quiet time when I first heard of Isis. My response was, “I’m a pacifist so I prayed, “Lord, they are such bad people the only thing I know to do is get rid of them. Bomb them.” I suppose Jesus’ disciples, and many people today like me, might have had a similar response.
So I prayed, “Lord, I’m a pacifist. Show me Jesus’ way, there must be a better way.”Lo and behold I just happened to be reading pages in the book The Powers that Be where Walter Wink says “for every conflict there is a nonviolent answer” I prayed, “Lord, I don’t believe it, show me.” Then what came to me was we need first to understand what creates Isis support, why they hate us, what makes people join these terrorists, and to find a good solution. What if you went home tonight and your house looked like this?

(I pass out this picture of homes bombed by drones) And your family was killed by a US drone? Wo…

A Nazarene Peacemaker and a Thief

Dear friends, A Nazarene Peacemaker and a Thief 3/4/19 “Would you turn that mirror in on your side in so it doesn’t get knocked off.” said Juan to me. He then added “I have to tell you a story about that mirror. I was at a stop light and a guy come up and just broke off the mirror. I saw police nearby so I told them.” “They went and found him and brought him to me. They said to me, well here he is you can hit him or do whatever you want with him. Beat on him as much as you want. I said I don’t want to beat on him. That just didn’t seem right. They then called and another policeman who also said go ahead beat on him this is your chance. That might straight him out.” “They then got a commander who brought a bat and said well now you can beat him go to it. I than talked to the fellow and found he was very poor and stealing things as a way to survive. So I felt he was already in a deep in a hole. I didn’t want to push him any deeper.” “The pol…