Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

August 11, 2019: Faith Is...

From Fraser Macnaughton


One of the ways in which many Palestinian families keep faith in the hope that one day justice will be restored to them with regard to their former homes confiscated by the Israeli government over the decades is to retain their original front door keys as a sign of their ownership. 

However this has become impossible for some, as Israeli work crews have begun demolishing dozens of Palestinian homes in an East Jerusalem neighbourhood in one of the largest operations of its kind in years, and in the face of mounting international opposition. 

The village of Sur Baher is in the dispute area where Israel built its separation barrier in the early 2000s. The Palestinians say the structure is an illegal land grab because it juts into the West Bank [part of the Palestinian Authority] in many places. Israel says the buildings to be demolished were erected too close to its separation barrier. Residents say the buildings are on West Bank land, and the Palestinian Authority gave them construction permits.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of public security, said a recent Supreme Court ruled the illegal construction “constitutes a severe security threat and can provide cover to suicide bombers and other terrorists hiding among civilian population.” Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh described the demolitions as a “grave aggression. This is a continuation of the forced displacement of the people of Jerusalem from their homes and lands – a war crime and a crime against humanity.”

Israel captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 six-day war. The international community considers both areas to be occupied territory, and the Palestinians seek them as parts of a future independent state.
Israel annexed East Jerusalem and considers it part of its capital – a step that is not internationally recognized. But the competing claims to the territory have created a web of legal complexities.


Explore…Hebrews 11:1–3, 8–16

  • How do you react to the depth of faith in justice that many Palestinians still show after so many decades of conflict?
  • What ways do you think your faith community could support the Palestinian Christian community in their clinging on to their faith?
  • What ways do you think your faith community could engage with your national politicians on these matters?


Most of us can have no idea how hard it is for many of our brothers and sisters in Christ to continue to trust God’s promises given the circumstances in which they have to exercise their faith. May we always be mindful of their struggles as we continue to walk on the way of Christ. Amen. 


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