1 Samuel 1: 1-20; John 1: 43-51
To live as servants of God’s life-flourishing creation, we need to be with God constantly and to cultivate a practice to encounter Him whenever we receive the opportunity. Moreover, a culture of inclusiveness helps us to leave behind our exclusive claims and embody a life that flourishes our being as well as the whole creation.
Being with and encountering God are important factors for life to flourish. 1 Samuel 1:1-20 describes that life comes from God, but very often only through encounter with Him. The opportunity to encounter God comes from one’s constant relationship with Him. This spiritual practice gave Samuel the opportunity for his life-flourishing ministry, especially to convey the prophetic voice truthfully and courageously. In this passage Eli, the priest, serves as a mentor to Samuel to respond to the call and mission of God. When a person responds to God’s call, God entrusts them with His mission and commissions them to serve as a prophetic witness to life-flourishing communities.
The conversation between Philip and Nathaniel, the disciples of Jesus Christ, gives us the idea that to develop life-flourishing communities we need to leave behind a culture of exclusive claims to embody a culture of inclusiveness. After hearing the question of Nathaniel, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip did not spend any time arguing with him, but said, “Come and see” (John 1:46). In other words, Philip said to him, “forget your exclusive claims and see what is happening around us through the living presence of the Messiah, the son of God.” Your seat under the fig tree gives you fame and people may call you ‘researcher of the scriptures,’ but come out of that safe place and enjoy life in the presence of Jesus Christ, the life-giver. Let us come out of our comfort zone of fame and safety; instead let us live among the destitute and marginalised to serve as agents of God’s original purpose of creation.
-Prinstone Ben, Church of South India
God of Life, help our churches to do God’s mission and ministry serving all people, especially those who are disenfranchised and marginalised by oppressive structures. Give ministers, missionaries and all who work in the church the discernment to work meaningfully in the context of the deadly pandemic COVID-19.
Prayer Points from Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa (CCCAS)
- From January to September 2020, a record number of 15 young people lost their lives to suicide. Pray for the young people of American Samoa that they may know how to cherish God’s gift of life and make wise life decisions. Pray for their parents and families who are coping with their sudden departure. Pray for the CCCAS and all churches in American Samoa, that their ministries will be able to address this issue among the young people.
- CCCAS member churches in the United States, New Zealand and Australia suffered a lot from the impact of COVID-19. Please pray for their well-being, individual ministries and mission as they adapt to the ‘new normal’ brought about by this global pandemic.
- The CCCAS has several elderly members as well as members living with disabilities. We pray for their well-being, and may God keep them safe from COVID-19.