A Letter from Zack about War in the Holy Land
The evil unleashed by Hamas against Israel has led to another war in the Holy Land. The cruel act of terror committed by Hamas against innocent men, women, and children in Israel is evil. We, as the baptized, are called to resist evil. We stand with all people of good faith in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, these cowardly, anti-Semitic, and heart-breaking acts of terrorism. We stand with our Jewish siblings as they deal with yet another colossal loss of life.
At a Wednesday press conference, Hosam Naoum, our Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, said, “What we are saying is quite clear: We are against any violence against innocent people on any side of the divide.” In January of this year, several St. James’ parishioners and I had the privilege of meeting Archbishop Hosam, and we learned first-hand some of the challenges that face the people of the Holy Land. Now they are faced with what appears to be an extended violent period in which many more civilians will be harmed and killed. At all times, we—as followers of the one who is the Prince of Peace—are called to pursue all that leads to peace and justice, and respect the dignity of every human being.
As the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said in a recent statement, “I plead that the sins of Hamas are not borne by the citizens of Gaza, who themselves have faced such suffering over many decades. The price of evil cannot be paid by the innocent.”
Let us join our archbishops to plead for the protection of the innocent. As we weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15), it is hard to know what to do other than cry out. May we find hope in trusting that God is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18) and pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122).
I commend this link to you from The Episcopal Church’s website to learn about the Church’s response and to stay engaged in prayer and faithful action.
Yours in Christ,