We are all part of the greatest family on earth. In Ephesians 1:5 it says, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” As a mom through both birth and adoption, God’s adoption of us is easy for me to understand. God radically loves all of us.
It is through this lens that we need to approach the work of ethnic and racial healing and unity. We must think of our family, whether they live across the street or across the globe. We must consider them as the beloved children of our God and Creator, and as our siblings. This Biblical truth is radical to culture, providing daily opportunities for us as Jesus followers to show genuine care for people and to show the world a foretaste of the unity Jesus prayed for in John 17:23, revealed in Revelation 7:9.
Yesterday I had a conversation with a spiritual sister that lives across the globe. She is someone who I’ve talked with several times before, someone who I have come to deeply respect and admire. She is someone I consider not just a sister but also a dear friend. Her name is Emily and she is part of our Global RDEI Committee. Emily has been part of our Hillsong Community for a long time, her currently serving alongside her husband Damon as the lead pastors in Israel.
Our conversation was laced with details of what is happening on the ground in Israel. Alongside my friend and sister, I wept repeatedly. Not the subtle type of weeping, but the ugly kind, because the reality of what our sisters and brothers in Israel are facing is unimaginable, dangerous, scary and persistent.
I’m not going to attempt to speak to the complexity of the conflict happening. I am mindful of the long and complex history of this region and its people, and my heart daily mourns over the escalation of violence and terror and the resulting suffering now being felt by so many in the region.
I simply want to remind us of the humanity of what is happening. Hate is the fueling force.
It is hate that is having global reach, impacting many of the communities we are a part of. Hate that is based on the ethnicity of the people groups involved. Antisemitism is on an increase globally, which is hostility, prejudice and discrimination against Jews. The current stories of antisemitism that are being shared in many global nations are horrific. But Jews are not the only targets of hate, hate against Muslims are also on the increase.
The reality of the situation is overwhelming, and it is easy for apathy to creep in as a way to deal with the powerlessness we all are feeling. I want to encourage you that there are things that we can do. We have opportunities to daily put justice and unity on display.
Emily shared with me how the biggest need right now is prayer, for the conflict to end. Let this be our global collective prayer: “Father, end the conflict in the Middle East. Intervene and bring peace. In Jesus’s name.”
There is also a need for a prayer cover of protection from danger and harm, literally every minute of the day. This is something we can all do, as a global spiritual family, committing to intercede for our spiritual sisters and brothers, and those living in the regions impacted. “Father, protect the people of the regions impacted. Father, protect our spiritual sisters and brothers living in the regions impacted. Father, protect Emily and Damon, and the rest of our Hillsong family. In Jesus’s name.”
There are also other things which we can do:
- Check on your people, who are living in the regions or who are living in other parts of the world. Send them a text, an email or try calling them. Do this without an expectation of a response. Continue to regularly check on them.
- Tangibly meet any needs that come up by giving financially or of your time. There are ways to give on our Hillsong Website or give to reputable non-profits working on the ground. God might potentially want you to directly give to people directly impacted, as life there is on a standstill, resources are limited, and resources have significantly increased in cost.
- Seek the Holy Spirit in what He wants you to do. Follow every Holy Spirit nudge to pray, to text or call someone, to bring it up in conversation, or to generously give.
Lastly, I would encourage you to pray and speak on behalf of all our Biblical mandate of unity and justice. As you do that, have zero tolerance for ethnic hate, discrimination, antisemitism, prejudice, and injustice. “Father, may you intervene and reign in every situation of antisemitism and ethnic hate and discrimination, and may your justice prevail. In Jesus’s name.”
Remember, the heart of God is for justice and unity, as shown in Micah 6:8 and throughout the Bible.
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God.”
I pray God helps all of us, to be justice on display.
Hillsong Global Ethnic and Racial Healing and Unity, RDEI Manager
Maria Hansen-Quine, LASW, MSW
We acknowledge all First Peoples of the beautiful lands on which we live and celebrate their enduring knowledge and connections to Country. We honor the wisdom of and pay respect to Elders past and present.