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 14, 2004

"This is your hour and the power of darkness"

Luke 22 is a chapter of love. The chapter depicts Love, but Love confronted with betrayal, denial, and arrest. The authorities are seeking a way to put Jesus to death. They finally rely on the cover of darkness. The disciples are afraid and respond in various ways. The threat of arrest or death tests their commitment with Jesus to the limit. Terror is fear of the unknown.

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you [disciples], that he might sift you [disciples] like wheat …Luke 22: 31

When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour and the power of darkness.” Luke 22: 53
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How do you respond to terror or attack? Might you, in fear, compromise principles of love by fleeing, or turning on a friend? Would you do whatever it takes to avoid the assault? How does the unknown impact your reaction?

Here in Iraq, house raids by U.S. troops happen in the middle of the night. Emotions short-circuit morality as prisoners are tortured or killed. Even nonviolent peace and development organizations rely on armed guards or flee the terror. Those who want to think the best of occupation troops attack reporters who tell events as they happen. Most journalists hole up in barricaded enclaves or only report from “embedded” positions.

At home, how do you respond to terror and attack? Do you pay for bigger weapons systems? Do you avoid those who are different? Do you escape to television and work? Do you justify the violent response to terror with religious pablum? Remember Jesus in these times of testing. Jesus modeled service, prayed for God’s will, healed the injured slave, and spoke straightforwardly to his interrogators. Jesus crossed lines of enmity, purity, and religiosity.


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Suggested Actions:

Break the barriers of the unknown. Get to know another human being on the other side of an artificial barrier.

1) If you are Christian, go visit a mosque or Islamic Center in your area. If you are Muslim, visit a church or synagogue in your area.
2) If you are not a soldier, go visit a nearby military base. If you are a soldier, go visit a peace center in your area. Go with a friend.




2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect tremendously the work and courage of CPT. I was a member of a CPT team that was in Iraq during the bombing of Baghdad. I support your calls for a lesser reliance on military means and occupation. I have myself lived in Iraq for about 18 months, until leaving 6 weeks ago.

However, I do feel a need to point out that, as a supporter of non-violence, it is hard to see why your focus remains locked on the Americans as the force of evil in Iraq. This does not increase our understanding of the situation. The greatest fears that my Iraqi friends have these days, by far, is from the terrorists and the "insurgents" who are targeting them and giving death threats to any who work to try to restore order, to build, to provide a civil society. The Americans are a dim threat compared to the car bombs, the kidnappings, etc. One reason the Americans are blamed for everything is because they can be blamed for everything without fear of reprisal. But there are many many other places to point the finger.

Let us ignore the attachment of citizenship and stop blaming the US for everything, and keep the light on all forms of violence and oppression, and pray for peace between Iraqis and Iraqis and between Iraqis and Arabs and between Iraqis and the Iranians as well as for between Iraqis and Americans.

God bless your work and the understanding that you promote.
Best wishes,
Sean O'Sullivan
Program Manager, Iraq
JumpStart International

December 9, 2004 at 12:44 PM  
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