I am honored, humbled and awed to be here this afternoon, to stand with my Jewish brothers and sisters on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people. I am not unaware of the instruction of the Holy Scriptures regarding Jerusalem, Israel, and the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As one of my friends said, “Your family journal has become our Sacred Scripture.”
God told Abraham that those who bless you will be blessed, those who curse you will be cursed. History records the truthfulness of this statement.
Isaiah says to Israel and to all of us who have accepted your God “give yourselves no rest and give Him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” (62:8).
Even in the New Covenant scriptures to which we Christians subscribe, the apostle Paul says, “If the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.”
The history of the Christian Church does not record obedience however to these scriptural mandates, but the very opposite. It is Christians who have been the instigators of hate. We have lied about you, and persecuted you in the most vicious manners. We have trapped you in ghettoes, or fastened you in synagogues and burned you to your death. We have hung you from the walls of our monasteries, thrown you in rivers, taken your children and baptized them in the Christian faith, then taken them from your families to be reared as Christians. We have exiled you from our countries and confiscated your wealth. We have stood idly by as you were taken in cattle cars and doomed to death in our gas chambers.
No, it is not I personally, but it is the church of which I am a part, whether Roman Catholic or of some Christian denomination, and yes there were a few of us who hid you or died with you, thank God.
Today in the spirit of Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah, I take upon myself these sins of the past, confessing them as evil. I vow to you, in the Name of your God, and in the Name of Jesus whom we accept as our Redeemer, that I and a growing number of believers around the world will never again allow you to go to your death alone. We will stand with you if it costs our lives. And as I speak this, I am quite aware that, with growing terrorism against the Jewish people around the world, and remembering Zechariah’s words that at one point in history every nation of the world will turn against Jerusalem, there may be given ample opportunity to prove my words.
I just returned yesterday from Argentina where I met with Jews and Gentiles together. We prayed in front of Juan and Evita Peron’s palace, praying that the Nazi spirit that entered that nation may be forever eradicated. One of the most moving experiences of that trip were to see Father Peter Hocken, a Roman Catholic priest from England, and Johannes Fichtenbauer, Arch-Deacon to the Roman Catholic Cardinal Schoenborn from Vienna, with their faces on the floor for perhaps 30 minutes, confessing sins on behalf of the church in a posture of humility and contrition of heart. I want this time today by going to knees as a form of prayer and saying to my Jewish family of faith, “Father God, have mercy on us. Forgive our sins and give us wisdom and strength that we who believe in you, whether Jewish or Christian believers in Jesus as Messiah, may walk with more and more revelation of You and in strength together. I bring this to you in Jesus Name. Amen
I believe this was written by Pastor Don Finto. The author’s name was lost when we moved to a new server.