Lectionary Selection: Luke 21:5-19
Prayers for Kenya:
Lord, have mercy on us. Help us stand together in the fight against violence. We are all Africans and we share the same destiny. As we approach elections next year, we pray for peace and love to one another. Destroy the sins of division and the hatred within us. Heal the wounded hearts and grant peace to our people.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Kenya:
ETHNIC VIOLENCE AS SIGN OF END TIMES
Luke 21: 5 -19
The disciples are afraid. They came to admire the beauty of the building of the Jerusalem temple, a new building, symbol of an indestructible power. In this passage Jesus is not responding directly to the question asked by his disciples on when the destruction of the temple will occur. His reflection is rather on the fragility of the human institution. Today we have institutions with attractive names such as Human Rights, United Nations, African Union, etc. But they are not strong enough to face the challenges of violence and protect the people.
Jesus wanted to show his disciples the weakness of institutions made by human beings and that the true power to build and destroy comes from him. He has the power to destroy the sins of violence and ethnic separation and heal people from the symptoms of the same sins.
Today, the greatest and most dominant form of war is about ethnicity in most countries in Africa. It is the root to all problems because brothers are killing their fellow brothers just because they belong to different ethnic groups. People do not think of the long-term effect on their communities, but they act in the moment forgetting these are the same people we live with, grown up with and even marry. We believe that ethnicity is a gift because it makes us unique and also molds us and gives us a sense of belonging. Today, we forget what ethnicity really is and it divides us when we do not agree with each other's ideas. We choose our leaders based on our ethnic tribes which causes chaos if “our” chosen leader is defeated. This was the case in Kenya in the 2007-2008 political violence. It was based on tribalism. Kenyans slaughtered each other forgetting the many years they had lived together. It was tribe against tribe and many people died.
This is a social injustice concern because this way of thinking goes against every natural moral law and social nature of humans. People should help and uplift each other, not hunt and slaughter their own. Rwanda and Burundi are countries that have experienced genocide where one ethnic group is hunting the other. The conflicts are generally politically fueled and that is what creates the tension. We do not benefit from this ethnic violence. It only causes heartache, makes children orphans and deprives our economy growth. We should all stand together and condemn it because ethnicity is our pride and it is what defines and brings us together to a world filled with amazing cultures.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Brigitte Katshiete Eale)
Mission Partners in Kenya:
- All Africa Conference of Churches
- National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
- Organization of African Instituted Churches
- Presbyterian Church of East Africa
- Programme for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa
- St Paul's United Theological College
More information on Kenya: http://www.globalministries.org/kenya
Global Ministries Missionaries in Kenya:
Brigitte Eale serves as a long-term volunteer with the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC). Brigitte’s appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.