Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sun. Feb. 1, 2009 (John Funk)

John Funk spoke about his experiences with the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron where he recently spent 23 weeks. John said the recent ground war in Gaza made it hard to prepare for Sunday, even though there are many Israelis and Palestinians working for peace. After living in the Holy land John said he now reads the Bible with fresh eyes; there are many layers to the Scriptural accounts of which we see only a few. The Israeli occupation of the West bank reminds one of the Roman occupation in Jesus’ time. John mentioned his respect for the Torah and Old Testament, noting that some passages promote violence if taken out of context. The prophets and gospels stress hopefulness, justice and peace. John said the faith of the Palestinians stands between hope and despair, and determined action keeps hope alive and this means living in the confidence of God’s intention for humanity. He defined hope as “expectation with confidence.” Jesus told his followers to watch the signs carefully, to be aware of events around us. Even though the Romans used guerrilla tactics, Jesus told his followers not to be drawn into the conflict. Jesus says “watch,” get ready for the birth of a child. We need a confident hope in the unfolding of the kingdom of God. Hope is what nurtures and sustains us as we reach out with confidence in the justice of God. Scripture calls us to hope even when the outlook is bleak. [HN] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday Feb. 1st, 2009 using your browser's preferred media player.



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