Advent Mini-meditations from Mennonite Church Manitoba's working group on Palestine and Israel.
2. The "city of David" and olive oil
Zatoun Olive oil is
produced by West Bank
farmers and marketed
internationally as a fair
trade reminder to pray
and work for peace in
Palestine and Israel.
Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed [David].--1 Sam. 16:13
The gospel of Luke tells how Mary and Joseph had to travel from their home in Nazareth to their ancestral village of Bethlehem, to be registered by the Roman occupiers of the land. Bethlehem was known as “the city of David,” where, a thousand years earlier, the prophet Samuel had anointed David with olive oil, to become king. The child Jesus was called “son of David” and “the anointed one.” Today, olive oil is the main agricultural product of the Bethlehem area. It is used for cooking, soap, and cosmetics. But many farmers have seen their olive orchards destroyed as Israel expands its West Bank settlements and extends the separation barrier in the Palestinian territories. One way we can draw attention to this injustice is to purchase Palestinian fair trade olive oil products at Ten Thousand Villages or CommonWord, remembering that the olive branch is also an international symbol of peace!
Lord, during this Advent we remember the olive growers of Palestine, along with other vulnerable farmers around the world, who experience loss and injustice. May your peace and mercy reign in our hearts and in our world. Amen