We arrived in Bethlehem with our wonderful group of pilgrims. Folks are getting acquainted, and in a few minutes, our journey begins. We'll be meeting with and learning from peacemakers -- some of whom are Muslim, some Christian, some Jewish -- and through them and one another we'll seek to better understand what's happened, what's happening, and what can happen in this important corner of God's world.
A highlight of our time was hearing Palestinian Lutheran pastor Rev. Mitri Raheb share five observations about this part of the world:
1. There are too many peace talkers and there are too few peace workers.
2. There is too much politics and too little care for people on the ground.
3. There is too much religion and not enough true spirituality.
4. There is too much humanitarian aid and not enough economic development.
5. There is too much pess-optimism (swinging from optimism about the next big project to despair when it doesn't work) and not enough steady hope in action.
It's a great privilege to be among the Palestinian people here in the city where Jesus was born.
Brian McLaren is an author and speaker whose next book A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith releases Feb. 9, 2010.