Lectionary Selection: John 16:12-15
Prayers for Thailand:
In these times of constant change in Thailand, O God, we pray for your steadfast presence that never changes. In a country with the smallest minority of Christians in all of Southeast Asia, we ask for confidence and compassion for all of us who have committed our lives to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ: the news that Perfect Love casts out all fear. When our hearts are centered in you and in your Spirit of Truth, we are not afraid. We are reminded that it is your Spirit, O God, who reverses the separations of Babel—so, in a country that ranks last in knowledge of English in the region, despite a commitment to dealing with its neighbors in English, we ask for more skilled teachers of English, and more skilled methods of teaching. Through Christ we pray. AMEN.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Thailand:
According to a recent international survey, the Thai are the most religious people in the world, by self-report. Most follow Theravada Buddhism, strongly influenced by ancient animism and the tales of the gods of Hinduism. Of great concern are the spirits all around, as they may not be friendly or mean us well. I’ve been told that the reason Thai people don’t whistle is that it “calls the spirits.” One doesn’t whistle past the graveyard, if one wants to be safe. Good thing there are few graveyards, as the Thai Buddhists cremate, rather than burying, their dead. Another concern is when the neighborhood dogs all start howling at once—this is not a good sign. But for me, still reeling only three days after the death of my own father this week, I was comforted by the howling of the dogs the same evening of his death—I found myself wondering if his spirit was “passing by.”
We are comforted (an ancient word for “strengthened”) as Christians when we genuinely accept the presence of the Spirit of Truth, promised by Jesus—the Spirit of sheer goodness and not threat. Everyone in the world who feels threatened by the surrounding spirits, or we might prefer to say, “the spirit of our surroundings,” longs at a deep level for the Spirit of sheer goodness. How could the Spirit be anything but, if the Spirit praises Jesus? Pray for all who live in fear of unseen forces, in the faith that our God is a God of hope and promise.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Anne Gregory)
Mission Partners in Thailand:
- McGilvary Faculty of Theology
- McNeely-Shaw Scholarship Fund for Theological Education in Thailand
- Missionary Support for Anne Gregory
- Searching for Identity and Citizenship for Ethnic Minorities
More information on Thailand: http://www.globalministries.org/thailand
Global Ministries Missionary in Thailand:
Anne Gregory serves as a missionary with The Church of Christ in Thailand. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.