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From Jerusalem to Gaza


a desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza

An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza” (Acts 8:26).

This is the first sentence of our first reading this Sunday, as Philip is led by God to an encounter with a court official from Ethiopia. Yet there it is – Jerusalem to Gaza – 62 miles by road or 47 miles in a straight line. It is a short distance but think about how much history, suffering, and glory may be found on that road. The words of Isaiah read by the Ethiopian could be ripped from today’s headlines:

• In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth (Acts 8:33).

In our own time, the name Gaza brings multiple images to mind, including terrorism and tragedy. Gaza is tearing apart college campuses and igniting antisemitism. Gaza has become a political football and a dividing line of right and wrong.

There are no easy answers to the question of Gaza but our calling as Christians is clear – we must continually proclaim the way of love. As John says,

• Those who say, “I love God,” and hate a brother or sister are liars, for those who do not love a brother or sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also (1 John 4:20-21).

Gaza and so many other issues can tear us apart in these troubled times, but may the Lord make us people who love.

Jerry+


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