Gaza – thank you
During Easter 2015 we called on you to send a message of support and solidarity to those in Gaza. We were thrilled and hugely encouraged to receive hundreds of messages – a sure sign that there are people who do care about Gaza and who have not forgotten the plight of its people. You can read some of these messages here.
Over the coming months we will be using this space to tell the stories of ordinary people living in Gaza, and in particular listening to the voices of Christians in this troubled land. We will be listening, reflecting, and praying for all those suffering there – and then taking action to bring about a just, secure and lasting peace for all those caught in this conflict.
Your messages to Gaza
“At this special time I pray for justice, peace and the power of love to bring hope to Gaza. I pray that your position is not just a matter of report but something that will call for a response from the heart of us all.”
“Even if you have drifted away fro our news screens, please be assured that some, maybe even many of us, have not forgotten your suffering. I can not pretend to imagine your reality. But I can at least remember it is not as it should be. Easter is all about the hope of new life in the midst of suffering. It is about a promise of miracles when they seem impossible. It is in this context that I pray for peace, justice and a brighter future for your children. It is in this context that I try my best to speak for you.
You are not forgotten. You are valuable and beloved.”
“You are never forgotten, never alone,
Christians around the world and God himself stand beside you.
We love you, hope for you, dream for you, fight for you and pray for you everyday.
May peace come to all lands in this world
Love rule in the hearts of mankind
and justice flow through our world
this Easter and always
For God so loved the world he gave his only son for you and me and every single soul upon the earth”
“As we prepare to celebrate Easter in the blessed freedom of the UK we hold in our hearts our brothers and sisters in Gaza with the prayer that you may know the miracle of new life and freedom. You are not alone: we think and pray for you.”
The situation in Gaza is desperate. And yet the world remains silent and closed to the suffering and hardship there. Unless the bombs are falling, we forget this small strip of land, and it’s inhabitants, most of whom are barely managing to survive under a siege that has just entered its 8th year.
Over 1.8 million people live in Gaza, and they all face the same insurmountable barriers to a normal life. Israel’s latest war left thousands of homes and buildings destroyed, and they will stay that way until the blockade is lifted and materials and goods allowed in. Poverty, unemployment and lack of access to basic materials all contributing to a desperate situation – one the United Nations itself calls critical.
An Easter Prayer for Gaza
A broken body
Taken down from the cross.
Jesus who gave himself over to death
Trusting that the love that brought forth the world,
Would raise him from the dead
and that injustice would not have the final say.
We pray for the wounded, broken people of Gaza
As hope disappears and faleshoods abound.
May we challenge the easy political answers that 2,000 years ago condemned an innocent man to death and today condemn 1.8 million people to life among the rubble, cut off and abandoned.
May we commit not to forget, not to stay silent , not to wait till the next round of destruction and death thrusts this narrow strip of land into our headlines
May we place our faith in the hope of the risen Christ
In the knowledge that every effort to end injustice,
To bring peace and to speak out for the oppressed is an effort that God blesses, that God wants and that God demands of us.
© Chris Rose April 2015