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bethlehem-wall2It was an eery experience to pass through the security fence or separation wall to enter the city of Bethlehem.   This picture of the wall speaks volumes – the city of Bethlehem is quite literally walled in.  I don’t want to offend those who might view this situation differently, but my heart of late has been with the people of Bethlehem.  The trip from our hotel took no more than 30 minutes by bus but the difference between Jerusalem and Bethlehem is shocking.  It was obvious that opportunities for education and work were limited. 

One evening while we were in Israel/Palestine, Rev. Michael McGarry, the rector of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute spoke with us.  One of my fellow pilgrims asked about what we could do as U.S. pastors to make a difference.  I will long remember his words: 

what makes you think you can do anything?  You should pray. 

So pray I will and I invite you to do the same.  The Arab Educational Institute is collecting prayers that will be passed onto the people of Bethlehem.  Will you pray with them?

May the Prince of Peace reign…