Thursday, June 7, 2012
O JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM
Over the entire history of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, peace has mostly eluded her. Even the redemptive work of all mankind was momentarily pushed to the side as the Galilean saw the “City of Peace” and had a very Jewish moment: “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”
As I write at 30,000 ft and reflect on today's events it is at once encouraging and sobering. I am returning home from the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast on Capital Hill. This year’s event celebrated 45 years of the reunification of a previously divided city into one. The Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, is dedicated to the support of Jerusalem as the united capital of the State of Israel. I was privileged to participate as one of the plenary speakers along with many congresspersons, rabbis and notable leaders. Benjamin Netanyahu sent a personal aide with a personal greeting.
The encouraging part of the event? The bipartisan involvement of so many of our legislators in support of Israel was heart lifting. The Congress of the United States has a growing and active caucus dedicated to advancing the partnership of our nation and the State of Israel. Many others in the house and senate who are not officially in the Israel Allies Caucus support its goals. Another encouraging aspect is the developing coalition and meaningful cooperation of the faith community, Jewish and Christian alike, working together to advance the "peace of Jerusalem" and the safety and prosperity of Israel.
The sobering part? To hear from those in the highest levels of our Legislative branch of government express deep concerns about our current administration's treatment of our closest ally in the Middle East. The direction our federal government has taken with regard to Israel in the last few years is a significant departure from 64 years of strong support and high regard. While the damage can be repaired, it will take years to unwind the convoluted message that has been spread to the world about our commitment to our allies, especially in the Middle East.
My own concerns are not exclusively geopolitical. If Holy Writ is to be taken seriously, blessings are promised by God Himself to those who stand with the Children of Abraham; curses to those who stand against her. While Christians claim ownership of those same promises made to our common patriarch Abraham, it must be pointed out that we are "grafted in" and that "[we] do not support the root, but the root supports [us]." We cannot stand by and allow the tree upon which we depend to be abandoned or harmed by us as individual Christians or by the nation to which we belong. Quite the contrary, Israel must be nourished, even to its roots.
Prayer for the peace of Jerusalem must be done in faith and action. It must be done. So now I wipe a tear and pray for the peace of Jerusalem,