Posts tagged prayers for peace

Daoud Nassar,The Beatitudes, Absurd Prayers, and Missed Opportunities

DSC_7363 - Version 2I’ve been thinking about Daoud Nassar quite a lot this past week. On Wednesday my wife Janie and I , along with another couple , attended a Centering Prayer session at Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City, Michigan. After contemplating in silence for 25 minutes, a participant read the following bible passage three times.

Matthew 5:1-12

The Beatitudes

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the Land

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Tears filled my eyes as I thought of Daoud Nassar, especially with the verse: “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Land” (in the New American version, not “inherit the earth” ).

As I listened each time these verses were read I thought again how Daoud exemplifies Jesus’ “Kingdom Manifesto ” so well. Even in light of his recent tragedy when 1500-2000 of his fruit bearing trees were destroyed in the dead of night by the Israeli Defense Force. (Please see the previous post on this blog for the story of this outrageous act of immoral aggression.)Daoud's destroyed olive farm

Daoud is humble, a peace maker whose motto is “We refuse to be enemies.” He is truly a lover and follower of Jesus. He has been relentlessly persecuted and attacked by the Israeli government and its illegal settlers.

And yet he is able to say,

But the suffering is not the end of the story but it can be seen as a path to achieve the goals and vision. Always we need to keep faith, hope and proper love. Those three words together are the foundation of our work here. So without faith, without hope, without love, nothing can be done.

Daoud was in Seattle when he learned of the destruction done to his trees and farm. As Mark Braverman heard him say that night at his presentation , Daoud wondered what the IDF bulldozer drivers would say to their kids when they were asked, “What did you do at work today , Daddy? Did you have a good day?” Continue reading Daoud Nassar,The Beatitudes, Absurd Prayers, and Missed Opportunities