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Raymond A. Foss Poems
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Innocent Blood by Raymond A. Foss

That troubled land, torn and split
knowing war, strife, too long
Escape through there, to a land
once of oppression, now of refuge
Once of hope, now of struggle
back into that land, give and take
innocent blood shed; in the stories,
in the news, innocents in the cross-fire
forever under threat, ruthless, indiscriminate
rage and fury, power, authority, nations and people
land of the saints, of the martyrs, ancient, tribal
never finding peace, on earth
innocent blood, spilled,
crying out from the ground
for God

January 14 and 15, 2009
Matthew 2:13-23
and words of Bishop Peter Weaver,
in his Partners in Ministry email
“♦ THE TERRIBLE VIOLENCE IN THE GAZA STRIP is deeply disturbing. Hundreds of innocent civilians, including children are being caught in the crossfire. Last week, after we celebrated Epiphany (Jan. 6, the magi visiting Bethlehem) I thought about the rest of Matthew 2 where Herod sets out to kill all the "innocents" under two and Mary, Joseph and Jesus head for Egypt....probably through Gaza! Both the Palestinians and Israelis fear and react to violence from the other side and to a long history of threats and actions that are indelibly etched in their memories. Tragically, every additional death and injustice etches new memories in new generations who will grow up with even more hatred and determination to "win", no matter what the means of terrorism or oppression. "An eye for an eye, leaves everyone blind"
How can peace with justice be found?
A Quaker saying, based in the Gospel, points the way. "There can be no peace without reconciliation. There can be no reconciliation without forgiveness. There can be no forgiveness without giving up the hope of a better yesterday." In other words, holding on to the deeply etched bitterness of the past prevents us from embracing a new future of peace. Nations do it. Families do it. Churches do it. Pray that we might all become peacemakers. Pray for the land we call "holy."”
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