Lectionary Selection: John 20:1-18
Prayers for East Timor:
God of all newness, as we face a world of suffering and injustice, despair and cynicism, awaken us to the hope found in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Energize us by the power of your Holy Spirit for the renewal of the world. We pray especially for partners in the Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL). We rejoice in the ways you have sustained them in faith and hope. Therefore we lift up to you their ministries on behalf of the Timorese people. We pray that the witness of our partners would be a source of hope and wholeness for many. God bless and strengthen the women of Clinic Immanuel Lospalos. May their ministry surge forward with healing energy. God bless and strengthen the new leadership of Immanuel Church as well. We pray for their unity in mission and ministry. We also remember the Synod of IPTL as they prepare for the upcoming General Assembly. We ask that you be at work midst the choosing of new leaders and ministry directions. We remember as well that political unrest lurks in East Timor as another government has recently collapsed. Therefore pray, in Easter hope, for unexpected newness and possibility.
In the name of the Crucified and Risen Son, Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from East Timor:
The people of East Timor have faced colonialism, military domination, internal displacement, and famine. Now, they’re in the midst of a chaotic and unjust development process. Yet, throughout it all, they’ve never lost hope. Why? Because hope is all they’ve got. Hopelessness is a privilege that most of the world’s people simply don’t have. Despite the suffering, chaos, and ambiguity, Timorese haven’t lost their confidence in God’s active presence in the world and their lives. They trust that God has a future for them, and they act on that basis.
The resurrection of Jesus is God’s ultimate “yes” to life, healing and renewal. The church is that community of people gathered around this truth which gives us hope. We are called to live out this hope by participating in God’s renewal of the world. The thing is, we have to live out this hope in a suffering and contested world. I’m reminded of this each day as the staff of Clinic Immanuel Lospalos starts their work. Against a background of crying children waiting for care, they gather for singing and prayer. Even as they know they must face suffering people, they find hope in the trust that God is at work in and through what they’re doing. They are, as Paul wrote, “…steadfast, immovable always excelling in the work of the Lord…because they know that their labor is not in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Prayer and Mission Moment by Tom Liddle
Mission Partners in East Timor:
More information on East Timor: https://www.globalministries.org/east_timor
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in East Timor:
Tom Liddle serves with the Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL). His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.