26 October 2023
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Today it is 18 days since the Hamas and Israel war began with a terror attack by Hamas on Israel. I have watched this unfold in the news with horror and prayed that there would be a ceasefire, prayed that these appalling crimes against God and humanity would end. Instead, the suffering and terrible loss of life continues, with unconscionable civilian casualties, and humanitarian aid not able to reach those who need it most. As is so often the case in war, children, women and the vulnerable pay a terrible price. It is a humanitarian catastrophe.
I know that some of you have strong views on this war, and on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Today, both Israelis and Palestinians are living in fear, are injured, are mourning the loss of families and friends. I invite you to join me in prayer for:
- A ceasefire.
- Those killed, injured, and all who care for them.
- The release of hostages taken by Hamas.
- Safe humanitarian access into Gaza so that much needed aid can be provided.
- Those trapped and those who have had to leave their homes.
- Those risking their safety to help.
- For peace-keepers and peace-makers.
Christian World Service has launched a Gaza Palestine Emergency Appeal to assist people who have been affected by the current conflict, particularly in Gaza. They write that “thousands of people have been killed, injured and displaced. Nearly two hundred people are being held as hostages. Hospitals, schools and homes have been damaged or destroyed. The need for a ceasefire and humanitarian relief is overwhelming.”
If you would like to support the CWS appeal see information here, and there are links to more appeals below.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9)
Right Rev Rose Luxford
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand