Lectionary Selection: Matthew 20:1-16
Prayers for South Africa:
Thank you for your outpouring of grace. You are kind and generous to all your children. Teach us to see others with your eyes and be just as forgiving. Thank you for the healing that results when we are quick to forgive. Bless and keep South Africa and her people during these years of mending the wounds of injustice. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from South Africa:
I remember defending this narrative “I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you” during my ecclesiastical council regarding my understanding of heaven and hell. The lawyer on the council wanted God to be a bit more harsh when it came to afterlife. Equal wages for employees who didn’t work the same number of hours was one matter but offering eternal life to all did not fit his sense of justice. I recall a warm smile from the then Associate Minister and my mentor, Reverend Dr Jane Fisler Hoffman. I was very young then, but my experience of God’s grace remains the same today.
Isn’t this what happened on the cross? In Jesus’ dying moments, the criminal asked to be forgiven and Jesus responded with “today you will be with me in paradise.” This is God’s audacious grace and love for us.
Many years later I would add that we need not wait for afterlife to experience God’s grace and forgiveness. Grace is available now and for everyone. After nearly 18 years living in post-Apartheid South Africa, I have witnessed incredible audacious grace between people of different genders, races and cultures. South Africa is a testimony to the world on grace.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Susan Valiquette)
Mission Partners in South Africa:
- Related Institution: Ons Plek
- South African Council of Churches
- South Africa Synod, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
- Theological Education by Extension College
- United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
More information on South Africa: http://www.globalministries.org/south_africa
Global Ministries Mission Coworker in South Africa:
Susan Valiquette serves with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA). She is the school chaplain and a class instructor at the Inanda Seminary, Durban, South Africa.