There's a stunning view this afternoon from the window of the office where I am working. It's a crisp December day, made clear and clean by the few days rain which has fallen this week, washing away much of the dustiness.
Looking to the north of Jerusalem I can see Ramallah, the seat of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Further to the east is Bethel, the place where God met Jacob as he fled from the home of his father Isaac in Genesis 28.
A little further beyond Bethel lies the village of Ofra, hit in recent days by tragic violence. On December 9th, a group of people were waiting at a bus stop. A passing car slowed down. Shots were fired from the car hitting 7 of the by-standers. Among those who were hit were Amichai and Shira, a young couple, recently married and Shira 7 months pregnant with their first child. Both were rushed to hospital, Shira the more seriously injured of the two. The baby boy, Amiad Yisrael, was delivered, lived 4 days and died. The nation of Israel is in mourning over the tragic death.
This morning at another bus stop, a mile down the road from the scene of the murder of Amiad, another car stopped. Shots were fired, killing two soldiers and injuring two more people.
So much hatred! So much pain! May the Lord bring His healing!