This past week the United Church called on the Canadian government to “intervene with Israel and de-escalate the spiralling violence and negotiate its end.” The Israel-Palestine conflict is not new news. Some of us are old enough to remember the years following the creation of the Israeli state in the late 1940’s, others grew up with news of on-going conflicts between Israel and its neighbours. Some of our high school history classes included sections dedicated to the conflict. Yet, many of us, when Israel and Palestine hits our newsfeed, feel unprepared to have a conversation about it.
Although we had some warm weather recently it’s hard to believe that it is, indeed, Spring. Certainly, when the majority of the snow melted away in March we had begun to believe it. But then the cold wind and snow returned and it feels like Winter once again. However, despite this weather, I am seeing all sorts of new life budding in our town right now.
The question has been posed, “Why, on earth, would we celebrate Lent this year when we’ve already given up so much?” Why give up meat, or chocolate, or television when we’ve already given up connection, closeness, shared meals and travel. Why make the next five weeks even more unbearable when we’re clinging to the simple pleasures we have in order to survive?