Fourth Sunday in Lent
From the world of popular music, American singer Lou Rawls crooned,
What’s the matter with the world, has the world gone mad? There’s nothing wrong with the world
It’s the people that’s in it
We need only pay attention to the headlines of various news media to know that there is so much in this world that contravenes what we understand to be God’s will for justice and peace among humanity and with creation. Violent assaults based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic status are some of the atrocities which deny people fullness of life as Jesus envisioned in John 10:10.
Can we, like Jesus, visualise societies which allow people and the environment to flourish? Can we, like Jesus, envision relationships which affirm the inherent value of all human beings and which allow us all to seek to understand each other, serve each other and respect each other because of the profound truth that each of us was made in the image of the Creator and equally loved?
If the people in the world of which Lou Rawls sings sought peace which calls for the right relationship with God and human beings – in alignment with the two greatest commandments which declare the primacy of the love of God and love of neighbour – then justice would be achievable. Jesus has set the agenda of life in fullness, and God has provided the resources in each of us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
From the world of traditional Christian music, we hear the words penned by Fanny Crosby in 1869 heralding the call:
To the work! To the work! We are servants of God; Let us follow the path that our Master has trod; With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew, Let us do with our might what our hands find to do. Toiling on, toiling on,
Toiling on, toiling on;
Let us hope, let us watch,
And labour till the Master comes. So, what are we waiting for?
God our source and our resource, may we lean on you and draw from you the courage and conviction to work for the liberation of those physically and ideologically imprisoned. May we do the work you have prepared for us to do. Amen.
New Leadership in Member Church
Pray for the new leadership in some of CWM’s member churches. May God grant a smooth leadership transition, strengthening and re-imagining of the churches’ vision and mission. Pray also for opportunities for the new leaders and CWM to connect in order for both parties to understand each other’s unique contexts and work more closely and effectively together.
We pray for boldness amongst the new and existing leaders in our member churches. May they have the courage to stand up for what is just and what is right, and may that continue to press towards the goal of life flourishing communities, even when faced with criticism and persecution from the world.
–Sainimili Kata and Stephen Chia, Council for World Mission