Its hard to put words to this simultaneous feeling of extreme apprehension and excitement in my life right now. We leave for Palestine June 17th, trading the world as we know it for another. In preparing to leave I have taken a lot of comfort in a prayer written by Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann.
Ours is a Seduced World:
God of all truth, we give thanks for your faithful utterance of reality.
In your truthfulness, you have called the world ‘very good.’
In your truthfulness, you have promised,
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.’
In your truthfulness, you have assured,
‘This is my beloved Son.’
In your truthfulness, you have voiced, ‘Fear not, I am with you.’
In your truthfulness, you have guaranteed that
‘Nothing shall separate us from your love in Jesus Christ.’
It is your truthfulness that we love.
And yet, we live in a world phoney down deep
in which we participate at a slant.
Ours is a seduced world,
where we call evil good and good evil,
where we put darkness for light and light for darkness,
where we call bitter sweet and sweet bitter (Isa 5:20),
where we call war peace and peace war,
so that we rarely see the truth of the matter.
Give us courage to depart the pretend world of euphemism,
to call things by their right name,
to use things for their right use,
to love our neighbour as you love us.
Overwhelm our fearful need to distort,
that we may fall back into your truth-telling about us,
that we may be tellers of truth and practitioners of truth.
We pray in the name of the One whom you have filled with ‘grace and truth.’
As Emily and I have journeyed through all of our prepperations to head to a land of so much conflict, these words have directed, refined, sharpened, my mission and encouraged me through rough spots. More thoughts on how this prayer has shaped my view on American culture and the situation in Palestine to come.
Until then, I pray it blesses you as much as it has blessed me.
Grace and Peace,