Randomly Chosen Religious Reads - No 8

A word of faith, hope and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering

There are two words in the Greek New Testament for our word ‘time.’ One is chronos meaning chronological time and the other is kairos meaning opportune or seasonable time. It is the latter word that is being used in Mark 1:15 when Jesus, at the start of his public ministry, appears in Galilee with the message: ‘The time has come, the kingdom of God is close at hand.’

It is also in this latter sense that the word is being used by the representatives of the Christian Churches in the Holy Land who drew up their Kairos Document in 2009. The compilers of this booklet of twenty six pages make it quite clear at the outset that they consider Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank – an occupation of their land which will have gone on for fifty years this year – to be ‘a sin against God and humanity and that any theology that legitimizes the occupation is far from Christian teachings because true Christian theology is a theology of love and solidarity with the oppressed…’

And indeed under international law it is illegal to settle your own people in an occupied country. That is why the
Presbyterian Church in the USA recently withdrew its investments from four different companies, including Motorola and Caterpillar, that are operating in the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The sleeping giants of the American churches are beginning to wake up and take notice of the injustices being meted out to the Palestinian community on a daily basis.

There are a growing number of ‘Kairos communities’ in the United Kingdom, churches and other organisations which are taking up the cause of ‘Kairos Palestine’ in much the same way as they have already taken up the cause of Fair Trade. The compilers of the Kairos Palestine document urge us all to ‘Come and See’ for ourselves what is happening in the Holy Land by visiting the ‘living stones’ who still bear courageous witness to the love and steadfastness of Christ.

Colin Douglas
(Copies of the booklet are available from the Hadeel shop, 123 George Street, Edinburgh (tel : 0131 225 1922)

November 2016
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