Sunday, March 23, 2008

From the Land of the First Easter

Easter Message March 2008, The Living God, Bishop Munib Younan, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

"...People ask me if I am optimistic about peace. I tell them I am not optimistic about the political atmosphere. And really, whether I am optimistic, pessimistic, realistic or idealistic doesn't really matter. What matters it that the church has not survived 2000 years since the First Pentecost because we were optimistic, pessimistic, realistic or idealistic but because we are witnesses to the resurrection. We have experienced the Light and we try to walk as people of the Light, understanding that God uses us to be witnesses for life in this blessed but often battered land. We say not, I am realistic or pessimistic or idealistic or optimistic but I have hope...Everyday here - even in the midst of the fear and the suffering - small bursts of community, hope and reconciliation are happening through extraordinary people, Israelis, Palestinians, Jews, Muslims and Christians. In our schools, programs and churches, we try to plant hope and the resurrection through our children, our people and all those whom we serve - regardless of creed, belief or political belief. In all of our ministries, we seek to express the hope of the resurrection. In interfaith dialogue, we revive the hope that religion promotes life and life abundantly for all..."

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