- Submitted, Pastor Tim Falk – Wynyard Gospel Church
November 1, 2023
There are currently more conflicts and wars happening than we are even aware of. The Israel and Palestine/Hamas conflict is only the latest to make the news. In Sudan, war has killed 9000 and displaced 5.6 million. In Ukraine, the Russian invasion has caused 500,000 deaths, and 14 million people have been displaced. A quick Google search shows that there are many countries at war right now. Civil war and terrorist insurgencies lead the way. The conflict in Israel and Palestine is nothing new.
It makes me sad, however, when people choose one side over another in this latest conflict, as if one person's life is more important than the next. When looking at a conflict like the one in Palestine and Israel, one can look at the history and understand why this is happening. Understanding why conflicts happen is the work of a historian; our job is to care for people.
As we have observed this conflict from afar, the Christian response has been significant. And sometimes, this makes me sad. There are Jewish Christians and Palestinian Christians on both sides of this conflict who are praying for peace. This land has been significant to our history as Christians from the beginning. There has been so much bloodshed on this land for a God who calls himself the Prince of Peace.
The absurdity of the statement should be obvious. Killing is not the way to bring peace. Genocide will not bring peace. In war, only death wins.
And so we pray for peace, and we work for peace. As Christians, we are a part of a worldwide organization of people who have, at their core, a belief in Jesus. A man who, being God, made it His priority to care for the weak, the oppressed, the sick, and the outcasts. As we see, each time there is suffering from human causes or natural disasters, Christians respond to bring comfort and aid. We see this happening in Ukraine (https://multiply.net/ukraine-in- crisis). We see this happening around the world. And we will see this happen in Israel and Palestine. As followers of Jesus, it is at our core that all people are made and loved by God. This is why we fight for life. We don't fight with guns but with blankets, food, and shelter, and with the good news of Jesus to bring hope, love, and peace into our world.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9).
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