Kindred in Christ,
Christmas celebrations have been canceled in Bethlehem this year. There is no Christmas tree lighting in the Manger Square nor festivities along the cobble-stone streets that normally are bustling with foreign tourists this time of year. There are no holiday decorations to be seen in the city that is synonymous with the birth of Jesus, located in the Israeli-occupied West bank.
Above is the icon, “Christ in the Rubble,” by Kelly Latimore. It is inspired by the witness of Palestinian pastor and theologian, Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac. This year, he and his congregation in Bethlehem placed Christ under the rubble in the nativity of their church. And when asked where God is as Gaza is being bombed, Isaac replied, “God is under the rubble.”
Join us this Sunday morning, as well as for Christmas Eve, as we further reflect on the God that takes on flesh and enters our war-torn world, in order to bring peace and liberation. And how this peace can be born through us today.
In the meantime, if you would like to donate to organizations that are working for peace and humanitarian relief in Gaza, click HERE. The first 500 donations made over $100 will receive a free signed print of “Christ in the Rubble” icon by Kelly Latimore.
Rev. Paul Ortiz