Week 3: Love in Action
September 5, 2022
This is the third in a series of articles from the Palestine and Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN) in the lead up to the World Council of Churches World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel (15-22 September). In 2022 the theme is ‘Faith, Hope and Love in Action: Towards Justice in Israel Palestine’.
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Week 3: Love in Action
written by Rev Dr Graham Joseph Hill, committee member of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network.
A few years ago, I had the chance to visit the Tent of Nations. The Tent of Nations is a family farm, owned by a Palestinian Christian family. Its mission is “to build bridges between people, and between people and the land. Our farm is a center where people from many different countries come together to learn, to share, and to build bridges of understanding and hope.”
I was delighted to interview Amal Nassar about their farm and record their story and vision. Sitting in one of the beautiful caves on their property, we talked about justice, peace, and reconciliation in Israel-Palestine. Covering the walls of the cave are paintings and words about peace and reconciliation, written in many languages. It was a moving experience for me.
Amal and her Palestinian Christian family preach non-violence from their farm in the West Bank. They’ve been battling to hold on to their land during occupation, while Israeli settlements encroach. They’ve owned this land in the West Bank for 100 years. Now surrounded by Israeli settlements, the family is a living example of the idea of peaceful resistance.
They rely upon internationals to help work their farm and to act as a ‘protective presence’, deterring Israeli settlers and military from entering or violating their land. Making the farm self-sufficient and environmentally sustainable are other measures they undertake to counter any unwarranted threats to their existence.
The Nassar family cultivate positive, proactive, and peacemaking approaches to life and conflict. They are peacemakers in a region plagued by unjust occupation and filled with conflict and injustice. For decades, they’ve opened their home and farm to Palestinians, Israelis, and people from all over the world—inviting these to embrace the message of love and reconciliation. Students, settlers, rabbis, imams, pastors, peace activists, and a host of international guests, have spent time at this farm discussing pathways to non-violence, forgiveness, and peace.
Amal and her family choose to respond to violence in positive ways. They meet violence with love, peace, forgiveness, and embrace. Committed to breaking the cycle of violence, they build bridges, not walls. They bring people together. They know that reconciliation only happens as we address issues of justice and peace.
Their lives show the power of relationships to healing conflicts, and to help move toward justice, forgiveness, peace, and reconciliation.
In my interview with Amal Nassar, she shares at length how her faith in Jesus sustains her in her struggle for peace and reconciliation. Reconciliation and “love of enemies” is a daily decision for Palestinian Christians. They do it in the power of the Spirit, and by following the life and message of Jesus Christ.
So many Palestinian Christians serve as models of love and reconciliation to the whole world. They show us what it means to practice love in action.
This article is a modified excerpt from Chapter 8 of Graham’s book Healing Our Broken Humanity: Practices For Revitalizing the Church and Renewing the World, co-authored with Grace Ji-Sun Kim.
 Tent of Nations, “Welcome to the Tent of Nations – An Educational and Environmental Family Farm,” http://www.tentofnations.org/about/about-us/