Daily Topic for December 09, 2011
The gospel means that we can be reconciled to the Lord of Lords. After receiving Christ, however, we must be forgiving with one another. One of the key spiritual obstacles faced by Palestinian Arabs and Jewish Israelis is that forgiveness and reconciliation become more and more difficult as both sides commit acts of violence against the other.
Pray for those who follow Christ to lead the way in showing forgiveness and reconciliation to their neighbors.
The nine-year-olds giggled as they tried to ride and guide the stubborn camels across the Negev Desert campground. The most unusual thing about the camp was that it was composed of both Palestinian and Israeli children.
The organization called Musalaha, the Arabic word for reconciliation, was founded in 1990 by its Director, Salim J. Munayer, who saw an opportunity to promote reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians as demonstrated in the life and teachings of Jesus. It seeks to encourage and facilitate reconciliation first among the Palestinian Christians and Messianic Israelis, and then beyond to their respective communities.
The main vehicle for reconciliation has been through “desert encounters.” In the desert, people can meet and listen to members of the other group in a remote non-threatening environment. Director Munayer believes anything less than personal encounters will not work because of the dehumanization and demonization going on from both sides.
These desert encounters involve every age group. Children gain understanding of the “other” side as they work and play together. Youths, who will soon be the leaders of their communities, have a chance to build friendships with those from the other community. Women develop network groups with one another, and community leaders are trained in reconciliation. These Palestinian and Israeli believers are finding that the Word of God is enabling them to overcome cultural misperceptions and resentfulness.
Pray that this group of Palestinian and Israeli believers will be salt and light in their societies. Pray that Muslims and Jews alike will thank Jesus for bringing about understanding.