Prayer and Action for Iraq

Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq invites you to join us in a day of prayer and action. Every Tuesday until Easter we will have a focused day of prayer and a subsequent action. Our time of prayer will be at 1400GMT and the action taking place between Tuesday and Thursday. Please consider posting any messages related to these prayers and actions on this site so that we may all encourage each other’s spiritual growth. Please refer to the main website, cpt.org, for more on our organization.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

“And those who make you tremble wake up”

6 “Alas for you who heap up what is not your own!”
7 How long will you load yourselves with goods taken in pledge?
Will not your own creditors suddenly rise up?
And those who make you tremble wake up?
Then you will be booty for them.
8 Because you have plundered many nations,
all that survive of the people shall plunder you;
because of the human bloodshed and violence to the earth.

9“Alas for you who get evil gain for your houses,
Setting your nest on high to be safe from the reach of harm!”
10You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many people.
You have forfeited your life.
11The very stones will cry out from the wall, and the beams will respond from the woodwork.

12“Alas for you who built a town by bloodshed, and founded a city on iniquity!”
13 It is not for the Lord of hosts that people labor to feed the flames,
and nations weary themselves for nothing.
14 But the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
as the waters cover the seas.

15“Alas for you who make your neighbors drink, pouring out your wrath until they are drunk,
in order to gaze on their nakedness!”
16 You will be sated with contempt instead of glory,
Drink, you yourself, and stagger!
17 The cup of the Lord’s right hand
will come round to you,
and shame will come to your glory!
18 For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
The destruction of the animals will terrify you-
because of human bloodshed and violence to the earth.

Habakkuk 2: 6-18 NRSV


Suggested Action: This passage speaks to several of the important concerns regarding Iraq. Please email, call or write your Congressional Representative about one of these concerns that are described below. If you don’t have contact information please go to http://www.house.gov/. For those readers who are not U.S. citizens consider writing or emailing your ambassador to the United States requesting that they speak out regarding these issues.

”Heap up what is not your own(Verses 6-8) Consider writing about the reality that only twenty-six cents of every dollar allocated for Iraq reconstruction is actually flowing into the Iraqi economy (Iraq Ministry of Planning figures). Many U.S. corporations are reaping the gains of the post invasion “reconstruction”. See this article for information about the Halliburton Corp.
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?storyID=7091742

Safe from the reach of harm(vs. 9-11) Much of the current administrations justification for the incursion into Iraq is to keep harm from coming to the homeland. This discounts the harm that is taking place in the Iraqi homeland and just as importantly the large number of American men and women who have been killed or seriously injured. Consider writing about the hidden impact of the over 15,000 U.S. non-combat casualties suffered so far.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/112304W.shtml

“Built a town by bloodshed(vs. 12-14) An American general referred to the assault on the town of Fallujah as an action that “broke the back of the insurgency”. However the weeks following the action have seen a marked increase in death and destruction at the hands of these same insurgents. Consider writing about the tremendous cost, in human terms, such a brutal house-to-house urban battle creates.
http://www.dahrjamailiraq.com/hard_news/archives/

In order to gaze on their nakedness(vs. 15-18) Illegal and immoral actions are still being carried out by U.S. military intelligence and the CIA. While the Supreme Court has moved to bring the detainees in Cuba within the guidelines of the U.S. Constitution no such action is available for detainees in Iraq. Consider writing to demand that we adhere to the United Nations Minimum Standards of Treatment for Prisoners.
http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=17216&c=206

You may also find out more about the detainee situation by visiting the CPT website at:
http://cpt.org/campaigns/adopt/adopt_a_detainee.php


9 Comments:

Blogger Lee said...

Today in the peace of my home, I was wrapping presents for family members, and listening to Handel's Messiah. I was a long way from the danger and turmoil you folks live in. Your courage and determination leave me awestruck.

I was lucky to be part of the last CPT delegation to see pre-invasion Iraq. We drove out of Baghdad, on our way back to Amman and home, on March 9, 2003. We in our van began singing "Where have all the flowers gone...?" Its chorus, "When will they ever learn?", seems heartbreakingly appropriate now.

It must be almost impossibly tough to hold on to hope in the middle of such scenes as you see daily. For that matter, it's hard for me to hold on to hope, back here in peaceful Ohio. I have been trying, but only in a small way, to participate in the prayers and actions for Iraq. Your suggestions for action are excellent; they can let us feel that in some slight way we are pushing back at the horrors of the battles and death in that battered country.

Your scriptural quotations show that this war is just the same as wars were thousands of years ago, except that we can now kill more efficiently and in much greater numbers. Against that bleak fact we have only the Christian hope -- and I say "only," because most days it is very hard to keep up ones duty to hope.

With the thought that some of these poems may be a help to you, as they have been to me in my times of great darkness, I will post, first, a maybe somewhat corny Victorian poem that I repeated to myself over and over while I walked though Baghdad nearly two years ago:

Say not, "The struggle nought availeth,
The labor and the wounds are vain.
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been, they remain."

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars.
Perhaps, in yonder smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase even now the fliers,
And but for you, possess the field.

For though the small waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, though creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not through eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the Light.
Before, the sun climbs slow, how slowly.
But westward, look. The land is bright.

And then, I think of this somber hymn, "Once to Every Man and Nation," and especially the last verse:

Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet 'tis Truth alone is strong.
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be Wrong.
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow
Keeping watch above His own.

And Handel's setting of Scripture:

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace.

Their song is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Why do the nations so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up, and rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His anointed.

He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.

December 24, 2004 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger John R. Kleinheksel Sr. said...

I too, applaud the call for prayer and fasting each first Tuesday of the month. In our efforts to help someone else, let's not become the mirror image of "the enemy". I'm thinking "Walking Tall" here, where "justice" is worse than the original crime. God save the world. God save the USA. God save the Iraquis. JK

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