Wednesday, December 24, 2008
60 Rockets on southern Israel Christmas Eve
I'm sorry to disturb your Christmas celebrations, but something is happening in the land in which Jesus was born, and to the people God chose to send Him to, that I really believe you should know about.
Normally you would have been notified through the regular email service; and I would have posted about this on the Jerusalem Watchman website. Problems with the site have forced me to take it temporarily offline, however, leading me to resort to this form of a special announcement instead.
In the past few hours, as millions of Christians have been gearing up for Christmas, many turning their attention to the story of Jesus' birth and what it means for mankind, rockets have been raining down on Israeli communities in the south. At least 60 missiles fell today - Christmas Eve - some pulverizing bedrooms and falling just meters away from playgrounds - sending tens of people into shock and distress.
Thanks be to God no Israelis were killed today. There could so easily have been.
Tonight, as I write this, Christian children around the world are lying in bed, many wide awake with excitement at the thought of what tomorrow may bring.
Here, in the Israeli cities of Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beersheba, and in all communities within 30 km from the Gaza Strip, thousands of Jewish children are lying awake in fear and dread of the next Red Dawn alert that will send them scurrying for shelter.
Angels came to Bethlehem's shepherds heralding peace on earth and bringing glad tidings of great joy that a king, the King of the Jews, had come. But for the Jews of southern Israel - and indeed of all Israel - Christmas promises no joy, no let-up from the violence and hatred they have known for so long.
"Oh, it serves them right. For after all, they rejected Jesus."
This the callous response of some who call themselves Christians, but who in their hearts completely lack the compassion and love of they One they claim to follow.
Thousands of years and thousands of miles removed from what Israel's people have gone through in the past and are going through today, the Christian world - whose faith was born in the Land and among the People of Israel - is quite capable of enjoying "its" Christmas Day and laying plans for "its" New Year without any reference whatsoever to Israel.
Christmas Day promises no cheer for Israelis in the Negev. And 2009 holds little apparent hope for Israelis, wherever they may be, as the world, with a new American leader at its head, comes against Israel in an effort to wrest away from the Jews the land and patrimony of their founding fathers.
If I may impose on you, dear Reader, please consider giving Israel and Israelis just a few minutes of your thoughts and prayers before you get swept up in the festivities.
May God bless you and yours in the coming year. May He be glorified in Israel. And may the Lord bless His people with peace.