As cruise missiles fall on Baghdad and
scuds on Kuwait, Jerusalem has become
very quiet. Schools have been dismissed.
The streets of East Jerusalem are mostly
empty, as so many are staying inside to
watch the 24-hour TV coverage. Part of
the quiet is the weather, for after a
day of sandstorm we are now in the second
day of rain. Yesterday I took some Canadian
friends to catch the last British Air
flight (until further notice) out of Tel
Aviv, and the airport was crowded with
those leaving. The few we knew were leaving
only because they had been told to do
so, and one of those acquaintances was
in tears at abandoning friends.
But the quiet is not just the noise level.
There is an inner quiet as well, at least
for me and (I think) for most people.
The questions of right or wrong, good
or bad, wise or foolish no longer seem
important. Those things will be answered
by God and by history, for there is no
turning back. The concern now is one of
minimizing human death and suffering,
preventing starvation and disease, and
being vigilant lest some take advantage
of the situation for illegitimate ends.
My brothers and sisters, the task ahead
of us now is perhaps more daunting than
the waging of the war itself, for we already
know how to wage war. The global community
needs to be re-built, and a new world
order founded on the respect and dignity
of every human being. May God give us
first the strength to survive the war
here in the MidEast, particularly those
who will mourn. Then may He give us the
wisdom and the grace to re-build. Those
gifts are not just for the people of Iraq
or Jerusalem, but for the entire world.
People we will never see are also brothers
and sisters with whom we need to work.
The new world order begins with you and
me and the integrity of all our relationships.
Almighty God…..Send us out in the
power of your Spirit to live and work
to your praise and glory. Amen.
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