Wednesday musings in Bethlehem

November 21, 2012

There are competing wakeup calls each morning. First it is the rooster at around 4:15. Fifteen minutes later it is the call to prayer at the closest mosque. At 5:30 the church bells ring. You know my favorite sound is the rooster crowing no matter what hour of the morning it is. My face is smiling before my eyes are even open. I don't even mind that call to prayer so early after hearing the rooster.

When we were driving back to Bethlehem last night from Jericho (about a 45 minute drive), we could see a large number of mosques dotted along the hills. You can tell the mosques from the green lights shining in their minarets. It looks like green mushrooms scattered about.

After being here four days we almost tune out the five calls to prayer that are broadcast throughout the day. We have not personally witnessed any people on prayer rugs or going to the mosques to pray. we are told that we will see them on Friday, their holy day.

We are spending a lot of time prayer together as a group and with those people we visit in their homes and at the church. This morning in the wee hours, I opened my Bible and there was Psalm 46. On my desk at home I have Psalm 46:10 written out: Be still and know that I am God. This time though my eyes fell to the first verse: God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.... That is what I needed to be reminded of at 3:00am. I was feeling anxious.

Then I went on to read the rest of the Psalm and was reminded of God's absolute faithfulness: "The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."

The verses I didn't remember were the ones that follow: "Come and see the works of The Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire."

Now it's after 10:00 pm and we are ending our day. At 9:01 we were celebrating the ceasefire that was declared here. Why should I be surprised? God is faithful.


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