Today has been a full day and tonight is a short night because I have to be at work at 6:30 in the morning. I have a great deal I want to talk about from church today, but I have to set it aside because my heart is heavy as I watch what Israel is doing in Gaza. I realize I’m hitting a hot button and that the issue is incredibly complex and yet what doesn’t seem complex to me at all is Israel is using extreme and excessive force to destroy people who don’t have much power at all. Yes, I understand Israel considers Hamas to be a terrorist group. I also understand our American government has given them the vocabulary to justify what they are doing with our words and actions in Iraq. I know the struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinian feels like an intractable problem. I know what is already an emotionally charged conflict is exacerbated by that faction of Christian theology that sees Israel as somehow special and untouchable. And what I keep coming back to is if you are the one with most of the power, then you hold a greater share of responsibility, and even accountability, when it comes to how you use and abuse that power.

    What I really want to do, rather than editorialize, is ask you to look at the following stories and see what is happening. Here are links to

    As I read through the articles, I found myself pulled back to an old Steve Earle song I learned at the beginning of our invasion of Iraq:


    I woke up this mornin’ and none of the news was good
    And death machines were rumblin’ ‘cross the ground where Jesus stood
    And the man on my TV told me that it had always been that way
    And there was nothin’ anyone could do or say

    And I almost listened to him
    Yeah, I almost lost my mind
    Then I regained my senses again
    And looked into my heart to find

    That I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham
    Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem

    Well maybe I’m only dreamin’ and maybe I’m just a fool
    But I don’t remember learnin’ how to hate in Sunday school
    But somewhere along the way I strayed and I never looked back again
    But I still find some comfort now and then

    Then the storm comes rumblin’ in
    And I can’t lay me down
    And the drums are drummin’ again
    And I can’t stand the sound

    But I believe there’ll come a day when the lion and the lamb
    Will lie down in peace together in Jerusalem

    And there’ll be no barricades then
    There’ll be no wire or walls
    And we can wash all this blood from our hands
    And all this hatred from our souls

    And I believe that on that day all the children of Abraham
    Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem

    I want to believe that, too.