Advent Mini-meditations from Mennonite Church Manitoba's working group on Palestine and Israel.
4. Shepherds and pastureland
Boy tending his sheep
near Bethlehem 2016
In that region there were shepherds…keeping watch over their flock by night.” --Luke 2:8
The first people to learn about Jesus’ birth were the shepherds tending their sheep in the fields below Bethlehem. Shepherds were hard-working people who often experienced discrimination from the larger society. Today in the hills and valleys around Bethlehem, shepherds still tend their flocks, trying to maintain a livelihood that has sustained them for generations. But pastureland is diminishing as Israeli settlements continue to expand in the area and in other parts of the West Bank, occupied by Israel’s military since 1967. Violence, confiscation of pastureland for settlements, military installations, and enemy stereotypes feed the tension and suspicion that exists between Israelis and Palestinians.
Shepherd God, as we hear the angels’ promise of “peace on earth,” we hear your call to pray and work for peace and security for all people, including Jews, Christians, and Moslems living in the land of Jesus’ birth. Amen. Advent Giving Project