Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Peter 3: 18-22; Mark: 1: 9-15
In Genesis 9, we find that God had a plan to save human beings from their fallen and sinful nature but they did not listen to God. Therefore, God sent the flood and only the family of Noah was saved due to their righteousness. God made the covenant with Noah that He will not send this kind of destruction again. 1 Peter 3 says that due to this fallen nature of human beings, God has made a great plan, a plan of salvation in and through His son Jesus Christ who came down to earth to save fallen humanity and all creation. Therefore, Mark 1 begins with the baptism of Jesus Christ, showing why Jesus has come to this world and what would be His Mission and Ministry in this world. Through the baptism of Jesus Christ and through the solidarity with the fallen human beings, we can find that the Triune God is now at work to reverse this fallen situation of rebellious humanity and the condition of sinners of this world.
The declaration of God, “You are my son… with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11), and Jesus Christ’s first declaration, “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the Good News” (Mark 1:15) show that it is Jesus’ mission and ministry to accomplish God’s plan now. Jesus seeks to establish the Kingdom of God in this world where there will be no injustice, oppression, inequality, division or discrimination among any of the creatures of the world. There will be life, and in the reign of God peace, justice and life in abundance, wholeness and fullness of life will prevail. As St. Paul also affirms that in baptism we all are children of God, there will be no division in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26-28, 1 Cor. 12).
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat to lives and livelihoods: God does not want it to continue at all. So let us change our minds, surrender completely to the Lord to be spiritually rich and live anew.
-Samuel S. Mankhin, Church of Bangladesh
God, help us to change. To change ourselves and to change the world. To know the need for it. To deal with the pain of it. To feel the joy of it. To undertake the journey without understanding the destination. Teach us the art of gentle revolution. Amen.
Partner in Mission
One of the biggest issues in Myanmar is the Rohingyas. The Rohingyas claim to be one of the many ethnic minorities who reside in the western state of Rakhine, formerly known as Arakan in Myanmar. Numbering around one million, the Rohingya people are considered “stateless entities” as the Myanmar government does not recognise them as an ethnic group or citizens of Myanmar. Thus, the Rohingyas lack legal protection from the government and are regarded as Muslim refugees from neighbouring countries and face strong hostility in the country. The Rohingyas were excluded from Myanmar’s Union Citizenship Act which included 135 other ethnic groups.
A number of violent incidents broke out in the region and the Rohingyas began to flee from Myanmar to the neighbouring countries as refugees. The mass exodus started since the 2012 Rakhine state riot in Myanmar.
Let us pray for the people of Myanmar, for the establishment and restoration of peace and justice in the country.
– Zohmangaihi Rokhum, Partner In Mission (South Asia)