For those of us who just returned from 8 days in Israel the escalating violence of the last few days reminds us of how much the "Holy Land" is a study in contrast. As peace-filled and inspiring as our pilgrimage was, we were aware in the last couple of days that rockets were launching across the borders of Israel and Palestinian territory. It now grows worse.
The answers are not easy. We learned while there that the region is a complex web of passion, rage, belief and yearnings for peace. It brings to mind the words from Phillips Brooks' great Christmas Carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem: The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
So as we descended a few days ago down the Mount of Olives and prayed, like Jesus, for the peace of Jerusalem, so we continue in that prayer. And as Jesus the miracle worker long ago changed the course of history in that land, so we pray for miracles again to occur by God's grace, and through peace see history change again.