Lectionary Selection: Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)
Prayers for the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
Gracious and Loving God, as we celebrate the Word becoming flesh, we are grateful for the example of love in your Son, Jesus Christ, who came to shine a light in darkness. We thank you for the example of shining light by the Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo, who despite the dark times of conflict and overwhelming poverty, are bringing about peace and justice.
Oh God, our world seems a dark and perilous place with terrorism, war and so much to fear that makes it easy for us to withdraw from the world, we ask that you intensify in us your commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. Strengthen our ability to overcome fear with love, power and sound minds. Help us to create Advent moments where we can experience the excitement of anticipating your move upon our work, and enable us to create benefits that will satisfy hearts and grow spiritually. Awaken us to the joy of genuine fellowship with brothers and sisters who transcend our immediate circles and enrich our appreciation of the world we inhabit.
God who is worthy of all praise, honor and glory, we thank you for hearing our prayer. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
The season of advent is a time of anticipation, benefaction and fellowship. We anticipate the arrival of the Christ child as God’s direct intervention into the world in human flesh. We receive the blessed benefits of his presence, teachings and life. We gather as a community of faith to celebrate in word and song the revelation of the prophet Isaiah, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned… for to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”
Mary’s visit with her cousin Elizabeth is an advent moment. Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist who will one day proclaim Mary’s baby as the Messiah. The Gospel of St. John says that John was not the light, but he came to bear witness to the light. The Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) has a clothing fabric with the words “The Christian is Light” printed on it. It is printed on many shirts, skirts and dresses. It is a good reminder of the role to Christians to shine the light of Christ into dark places. The CDCC Youth Department is doing just that by providing counseling and job training opportunities for homeless youth in the city of Mbandaka. They have brought together a cluster of community and church leaders to transform the lives of young people who are vulnerable and abandoned. Now an entire city can bear witness to the light and experience the joy of anticipation, benefits and fellowship; in other words, another Advent moment.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Paul Turner)
Mission Partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
- Church of Christ in Congo
- Congo Protestant University - Kinshasa
- Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo
More information on the Democratic Republic of the Congo: http://www.globalministries.or/democratic_republic_of_congo
Global Ministries Missionary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
Paul Turner serves as a missionary with the Disciples of Christ in the Congo. His appointment is supported by appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.