During the Vietnam war, pictures of death and destruction filled our television screens. In the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pictures of terrorized children and suicide bombings have appeared on our computer screens. Anyone interested in following this conflict can log on to sites showing images of demonstrators on the West Bank or of stone-throwing youth facing tanks.
My encounters with Arab Christians in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine have changed the way I look at both the New Testament and the mission of the church. My richest experiences have been in Palestine, because my career has brought me back to the Holy Land again and again. Each time I entered this world, I made new friends among Palestinian Christians, who have shaped me in many ways.
We sit on makeshift stools in the shade of a large yuyuga tree beside the workhouse, a typical farm structure with bamboo and mud walls and a tin roof. A few steps away in the stables, calves wait for their feeding. On the slope below, several dozen goats graze on the hillside.
For 49 years, presidents, members of Congress and thousands of invited guests have met annually in Washington, D.C., over orange juice and muffins to petition God to rain bipartisan blessings down on the United States and its incumbant-elect.