Lectionary Selection: Luke 12:32-40
Prayers for Japan:
God, your love surpasses all understanding. As Jesus encouraged his disciples saying; “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Help us also to know your abiding presence in our lives as we stand firm for the purpose of your kingdom here on earth. May peace and justice prevail for all.
We pray for your little flock of Christians in Japan who face trials on account of their faith in you. We pray for Christian educational institutions, that they may resist being hijacked by neo-capitalist forces in society. We pray for all minorities who are vulnerable to public displays of hatred on the streets. We pray for mothers and their families in Fukushima, 50% of whom do not think it safe for their children to be living there. We pray for the people of Okinawa who consistently find themselves marginalized. We pray for a society where freedom of speech, human rights, and democratic principles will be honored. We pray for the people who stand up to protect Japan’s peace constitution; a constitution which has prohibited politicians from waging war for more than seven decades.
God, your love surpasses all understanding. Help us to know your abiding presence in our lives. Help us, your little flock, to trust in your Word. Encourage us, and all of your little ones around the world, in the ways of your love. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Japan:
Okinawa and Fukushima stood out in the national elections on July 10th this year, both because they didn’t vote for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and because they are clearly the two areas in present day Japan that are being sacrificed for the sake of Japan’s alliance with the US, and Japan’s nuclear dependent energy policy. However a majority of those who went to the polls voted for Prime Minister Abe, and gave him the two thirds majority he needed to move toward a referendum to change the Japanese peace constitution.
In such a context religious leaders gathered for “The 5th Interreligious Conference on Article Nine and Peace in Asia,” sponsored by the National Christian Council of Japan. Article Nine is the clause in the Japanese constitution declaring that Japan will not solve international conflict by means of military force. For the LDP which has been in power for most of the past sixty years, this clause has been an eye sore. Yet as many have pointed out, Article Nine has served a vital role in maintaining peace in East Asia. If Japan were to lose Article Nine, tensions are sure to rise in the region.
Staff and missionaries from Global Ministries have been present at each of these international conferences, networking, translating, dialoging, praying and devising action plans with our international partners. Each conference ends with a public demonstration and a press conference. This is one way that religious leaders from various backgrounds show their solidarity. The small flock of peace advocates will continue to march so long as the lives of minorities, children, the poor and the suffering are being sacrificed for the sake of political ambition.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Jeffrey Mensendiek)
Mission Partners in Japan:
- Asian Rural Institute
- Doshisha University
- Emmaus Center
- Kobe College
- Korean Christian Church in Japan
- Miyagi Gakuin Women's University
- National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ)
- Tohoku Gakuin University
United Church of Christ in Japan
More information on Japan: http://www.globalministries.org/japan
Global Ministries Missionary in Japan:
Jeffrey Mensendiek is assigned to Kwansei Gakuin University, on faculty of the theology department, and a chaplain of the Center for Religious Activities. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.