Peace and justice in the world

resized image Promo 11One of the United Reformed Church’s (URC) General Assembly Moderators, Derek Estill, led the Church’s educational visit to Israel and Palestine in September.

The group had the opportunity to observe and hear at first hand the plight of indigenous Christians living in the occupied Palestinian territories. This included seeing the consequences of the expansion of Israeli settlements which are illegal under international law.

Reflecting on this recent experience, and in the light of President Trump calling into question the illegal status of the settlements, Derek offers the following for the last week of Advent, a message which resonates in the Holy Land and beyond:

As we prepare for Christmas, we think of all those in the world who are suffering from persecution and a lack of justice. We call on:

  • all of us to respond to the needs of others in any way we can, and to remember them in our prayers and conversations;
  • our government to work for justice and equality so that hope, peace and joy are available for all;
  • our government to work with governments around the world to get rid of policies which treat people differently from others, and to work for greater equality of opportunity for all;
  • all those with influence in the Holy Land, where Jesus was born and lived out his life on Earth, to support those who are being marginalised and treated differently, who are suffering from inequality, persecution and injustices.

In Isaiah 40:3-5, we read about a voice calling in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord: “Make straight in the desert a highway for God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low, the rough places a plain and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all people will see it together. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

So as we prepare to sing on Christmas Day: ‘Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing,’ we call on all people of goodwill to respond to Isaiah’s prophecy by overturning wrongs, establishing justice, peace and equality for all, and making a highway in the desert for God’s justice and love to take hold and to transform lives.

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

Picture: Brown road/Vicky Sim/Unsplash
Published: 18 December 2019