What can we as followers of Jesus say to the peoples of the Middle East about the seemingly intractable conflict that divides them? What is the good news or 'gospel' that we carry?
I'm reflecting this week on Paul's words in Ephesians 3:
In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Messiah, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to Godâ€™s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the non-Jews are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Messiah Jesus.
I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of Godâ€™s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lordâ€™s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the non-Jews the boundless riches of Messiah, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Messiah Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
If it is true, as I believe, that near the heart of the problem in the Middle East is a sense by non-Jews of exclusion and rejection, then only the church carries the message that in Messiah the wall of division has been torn down (Ephesians 2). Paul explicitly says that it is through the church that this mystery will be made known.
The hope behind Shevet Achim is that we proclaim this mystery with each non-Jewish child who is welcomed and embraced for medical care in Israel.