Selasa 26 Dec 2023 06:30 WIB

Christmas Sermon: We Seek God? He Is in the Ruin of Gaza

Christmas in Bethlehem of the West Bank is done simply

Rep: Kamran Dikarma / Red: Erdy Nasrul
A church in the historic city of Bethlehem in the West Bank made Christmas decorations this year using rubble
Foto: Anadolu
A church in the historic city of Bethlehem in the West Bank made Christmas decorations this year using rubble

REPUBLIC.CO.ID, RAMALLAH -- Father Munther Isaac raised the plight of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip when he delivered a sermon at the “Christ in the Rubble: A Liturgy of Lament” hosted Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, West Bank, Sunday (24/12/2023) evening time local.

Christians in Palestine have decided not to celebrate Christmas as a form of solidarity with Gazans.

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“Christ is under the ruins. We're angry. We are devastated. It's supposed to be a joyous moment. Instead, we grieve. We are afraid,” Pastor Munther Isaac said in his sermon, quoted by Anadolu Agency.

“The Gaza we know no longer exists. This is an annihilation. This is genocide. The world is watching. Churches are watching,” Isaac added.

Palestinians, he said, are troubled by God's silence. “We have sought God and found him under the rubble in Gaza. If Jesus were born today, he would have been born under the rubble in Gaza,” he said.

Isaac emphasizes that Christmas is not about Santa, trees and gifts, as well as lights. “This message is our message to the world today, and the message is simple: this genocide must stop now! ” he said.

According to Isaac, despite the great blow, the Palestinians were able to hold out. “We Palestinians will recover. We will rise. We will rise again from the midst of destruction as we have always done as Palestinians,” he said.

While hosting the event “Christ in the Rubble: A Liturgy of Lament”, the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem decorated the church space differently from the previous Christmas.

This year the church featured a baby Jesus doll draped in a keffiyeh and lying on a pile of debris. It symbolizes the destruction of Gaza.

The Hamas group has hailed a decision by Palestinian Christians restricting Christmas celebrations this year as a form of solidarity to residents in the Gaza Strip. Israel is known to be still pounding the region with a campaign of airstrikes.

“The holiday of our Christians comes this year amid continued fascist aggression waged by (Israeli) occupation forces against all components of the Palestinian people targeting all mosques and churches,” Hamas said in a statement on Sunday.

“We appreciate the position of Christians of the Palestinian people we respect who limit their celebrations this year and unite with our people in the Gaza Strip, who have been subjected to brutal Zionist aggression,” Hamas added in a statement.


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