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From the Dean

St George’s College, Jerusalem

 

December 8, 2017

At a time when we are aware of your prayers for us and for Jerusalem, I offer the following.

The sun is shining today in Jerusalem though on an eerie silence. Stores are shut. The streets are virtually empty. A few cars pass the College gates. It is the silence of a gasp in mid-breath at the precipitous actions taken this week to redefine this city, their home and their lives once again. Once again decisions made far away by other powers seek to reshape this city. Jerusalem has seen actions to rename it, redefine it, reclaim it, retake it, repeatedly. The tragedy of this moment may yet be overturned and common sense prevail in recognition of two peoples and three faiths in one city holy to the world. One can hope.

Many centuries ago, at a time of political instability, St Augustine wrote, what is now a famous letter to a friend up the coast of North Africa. That friend was watching the tattered remains of a Roman empire come ashore after the sacking of their city. In his letter St. Augustine reminded his friend that there are always two cities. There is the earthly city that is always disintegrating even as it is being built, but there is also the heavenly city, the city of God. His advice to the younger friend was, the way to stay human and sane and alive to your time, is to remember that as you work and struggle in the earthly city, even as it is being shaken, and seek and serve the one who died and rose Jesus Christ, you are at the same time, mysteriously, serving in building the city of God. If you can remember that, and hold to that hope, then you can live in a crazy history.

Hope arises sometimes from the darkest circumstances where the light of Christ germinates an alternative stance.

In this Advent time, may the startling light of Christ illuminate all that darkens and ensnares this present age bringing true peace, justice and hope.

We pray for you as you hold this land in your prayers.

Warm regards,

Canon Dr. Richard LeSueur

Interim Dean, St. George’s College, Jerusalem

 

Photo: R. LeSueur