Skip to main content

We are for Israel

Our stance towards Israel, God's covenant people

Isn’t it time to put the past behind us? No! Israel is about more than the past. It also has a present and a future. During the Nazi dictatorship Mother Basilea had the courage to tell the Gestapo that according to God’s eternally valid Word, Israel, as God’s covenant people, has a great future.

Shock over the facts of the Holocaust brought the young community to repentance over what our people did to the Jews. Since these early beginnings, a major focus of our ministry has been reconciliation and healing of our relationship with Israel.

Israel God's Covenant People

Atonement through service in Israel

At some point in the mid fifties, Mother Basilea’s heart began to burn to do acts of kindness for Jewish people and so to help wounds to heal. Sisters of Mary travelled to Israel in 1957, where they served among Holocaust survivors – at first in the north of the country and later in Haifa. Mother Basilea’s eye-opening book, "ISRAEL - MY CHOSEN PEOPLE" published in 1958, revealed nationwide the abyss of guilt, placing past events in the light of God’s truth. During the difficult months of the so-called “Auschwitz trials” (1963 – 1965), it was our privilege to offer Jewish witnesses hospitality and emotional support.

Israel God's Covenant People

On Friday evenings we have prayer for Israel – prayers of repentance and blessing – in our motherhouse chapel. A few years ago, we attached a yellow star, like the star worn by Jews during the Third Reich, to the foot of the crucifix above the altar where it serves as a constant reminder that we cannot love the Jewish Jesus while hating His people. An American Jew, who visited not long after, remarked: “If every church in Germany had stuck a yellow star on the crucifix during the years of Nazi rule, there would have been no Holocaust"

Ministry on the Mount of Olives

In 1962, sisters again left the motherhouse this time for the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem as it was then, where for many years they upheld a ministry of prayer. Living as they were in the midst of Arab families, gave them opportunity to build many warm relationships. In the forty years of ministry there, sisters were also able to guide countless pilgrim groups around the Holy Places. Throughout these years and since, the pamphlet, “Holy Places Today” was distributed in the hundreds of thousands in many languages at the sites where Jesus lived and suffered.

From the earliest days of the church, Christians have prayed, “Your kingdom come”, and according to the Bible, it will happen on the Mount of Olives. The house there – now known as the “House of the Father” - is led by the Jerusalem Fellowship from Berlin, (Jerusalemgemeinde Berlin) where it is still a house of prayer on the very mountain where Jesus will return (see Zechariah 14:4).

Visitors from Israel

Jewish visitors can be sure of a warm welcome at Kanaan. Whether old or young, a rabbi from Israel or a bus group of the elderly from a Jewish nursing home in Germany, the gratitude they express for the few drops of love and comfort we give them puts us to shame.

Israel, God's Covenant People

A wrong turn with horrific consequences

For Christians from the nations, praying “Your kingdom come” means getting rid of the stones that litter the way and hinder Jews from seeing Jesus as their Messiah (see "Removing the stones.") In the early days of the church, a disastrous heresy crept in leading to the first church division – to a separation from our Jewish roots as they are clearly outlined in the Bible.

Israel is still ''God's chosen People''

By God’s own choice, Israel is still His covenant people. Contrary to popular “replacement theology”, that covenant was never replaced by the church. The Bible states it plainly: "If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you." (from Romans 11:17 + 18).

How is it now? 

We are grateful for every chance we still have to show Holocaust survivors that we care – for as long as they are among us – whether in Israel, here in Germany, or in countries where we have a branch. As Christians, we stand with the Jews, God’s covenant people, and our “elder brother”. We are against anti-Semitism in all its forms. We also stand with the State of Israel and the land which God promised the Jews and to which He has let them return.

Go to Discovering Kanaan →

Lord, bless Israel,
the people You love,and watch over your Land of Promise with a fatherly eye.

Lord, bless Israel,
the people You love.Give them a new awareness of their calling,and help them to live up to it.

Lord, bless Israel,
the people You love,
and raise up among them men of God who speak with spiritual authority.

Lord, bless Israel,
the peopleYou love,
so that they look to You alonefor peace and refuge.

Lord, bless Israel,
the people You love.Help them to see the hand of God in the miraculous establishment of the modern state of Israel and the return of the Jews from many nations.

Lord, bless Israel,
the people You love,
so that in their distress they put their trust not in power and might but in You, who alone can comfort, strenghen and sustain them.

Lord, bless Israel,
the people You love.Keep them from feeling overwhelmed by their sufferings.
May Your Spirit enkindle them to fervent prayer and repentance.

Lord, bless Israel,
the people You love,
by fulfilling Your eternal purposes for them speedily and by guiding them on to the glorious destiny You have in store for them.

Lord, bless Israel,
the people You love.
Help and sustain them when You have to lead them through the dark valley of suffering towards their eternal destiny.

Blessing Prayers over Israel from "Hope in a Hopeless World" - A Handbook for Prayers
by M. Basilea Schlink

First Impressions