The Spirit, the Desert, Satan, Wild Beasts and Angels!
We live in a more or less hostile environment. There is much in the world to pull us down. Whether it is the physical situation, or loneliness, or temptations, or danger.
What we need is angels. God provides Jesus with the help he needs. Neither does God forget us in our need. We are all children of God!
Angels waited on him. Angels attended him. Angels ministered to him. It means they were there for him. That was their purpose. It still is.
Back to Palestine/Israel. There’s an organisation called Ecumenical Accompaniment Progamme in Palestine Israel (EAPPI). EAPPI is a work of the World Council of Churches, set up in response to pleas from Christians in Israel for the church to do something about the conflict in Palestine Israel.
EAPPI provides groups of individuals who go for three months to be a peaceful presence in the region. They stand at checkpoints to support Palestinians, they may report human rights violations, and are a vital part of the efforts to bring peace with justice to the region. See http://www.eappi.org/ for more.
These EAPPI volunteers are among the angels who attend the Palestinian people.
The first chapter of Mark’s Gospel has the Greek word meaning ‘immediately’ 11 times. (It’s not always apparent in the English translations, because the translators use different words). Here is the first use of the word – ‘And just (Greek – immediately) as he was coming up out of the water …’
As soon as Jesus enters the story, things take off. There’s an urgency about the Mission. But, before the mission can begin, Jesus is baptised and affirmed as God’s son.
To know who we are can take a lifetime. The journey of self understanding can be a tortuous one for many. The most important part of our identity is our place in relation to God. God’s child. Everyone should be able to know this, and be afforded this dignity by others.
I have just been watching the documentary film ‘Occupation 101’ about Israel/Palestine. Palestinians are treated by many Israelis as second class citizens. The are treated by the Israeli state as people with no rights.
They have to stand in line to cross checkpoints to get to work, or school, or hospital. There is a recent documented incident of a Palestinian woman dying in childbirth because she was not able to get to hospital. (Her new born child also died)
I could say much more about this, and probably will. The trauma of living in a war zone in conditions of poverty, and oppression has had devastating effects on the Palestinian people.
The children of Gaza will need an army of psychiatrists to help them if they are ever to live anything like a normal life.
The wall that separates Israeli from Palestinian is called the wall of separation. In South Africa there was no wall, but Apartheid (which means separation) meant that black South Africans were treated as less than human in the same way that Palestinians are treated by Israel.
One small thing that we can do is to treat everyone with the same respect. We all need to know our identity as a child of God