Ascension of the Lord, May 9, 2013

Acts 1:1–11; Luke 24:44–53

The Augusta Victoria Hospital sits on the highest point of the Mount of Olives, one of the sites claimed to be the place from which Jesus ascended into heaven. Administered by the Lutheran World Federation, hospital staff serve Palestinians who are living in the midst of occupation. Every day medical personnel and patients navigate Israeli checkpoints and closures to reach this hospital in East Jerusalem, which is renowned for its radiation therapy and pediatric kidney dialysis.

From a church tower on the grounds one can see the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim and the separation barrier that snakes across the West Bank landscape. Next door is the land known as Area E-1. Palestinians and international governments oppose Israel’s plans to build here, as it is the last remaining West Bank land that connects East Jerusalem to the rest of Palestinian territory.

 

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