Unless you live in a hole in the ground somewhere without electricity or access to any kind of print-media, you've likely seen news of the turmoil that is occurring in Gaza right now. It's a longstanding drama, sure, but there was a spike in the ongoing conflict this week when a new wave of air strikes were deployed. It is truly heartbreaking for all involved.
Discussing the religion and politics of the Middle East is a breeding ground for heated conversation and intense debate, but there are other factors of even greater importance -- people.
The Times reports:
- Airstrikes overnight on a house in Khan Younis and a cafeteria on the beach killed at least 15 Palestinians
- One airstrike hit a car used by a local news agency bearing media signs, killing the driver, Hamed Shehab, 27.
- 14 children age 15 and under were killed in the airstrikes on Tuesday and Wednesday, including four toddlers.
It is so easy to get caught up in the religious and political debate as Christians and forget the people involved. It can be such a noble temptation to lace our prayers with opinion and opposition, completely forgetting about those who are most impacted by the conflict-- everyday people.
Now more than ever, we followers of Jesus need to remember what he imitated in his earthly life: a deep, active concern for the masses, the crowds, and the lives of everyday people. It is so vitally important that we know why we believe what we do in days like these.
Whether you are a business person, a social worker, a soldier, a medic, a philanthropist, or even a cleric, God is ever prompting us to respond to all things in the world with the heart of Jesus.
I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for all those affected by the conflict this week. May we flood our prayers with heartfelt words of justice and peace.