Lectionary Selection: Luke 4:14-21
Prayers for Germany:
God of Mercy, Ground of Being,
when your child Jesus was afraid, knowing the horror that lay in store for him;
when he was humiliated and tortured;
when his friends deserted him;
when he writhed in anguish on a cross designed for a criminal;
when, no longer able to hold himself up, he suffocated and died –
I believe you were with him – you suffered his fear, his loneliness, his agonizing hours.
I believe you are suffering with your children on this frail planet earth today.
Jesus died at the hands of Rome for proclaiming the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Ignoring the kingdom of heaven, we have built tiny kingdoms of our own with little
regard for your creation.
In this time of isolation, illness, and fear for the future, help us to remember our brother Jesus and his time of trial and 40 days of fasting and isolation in the wilderness; how he had to confront moral choices not unlike our own – the desire for comfort, power and recognition plague us. When slowly we come out of our isolation, our fast of human contact, help us to not forget we are just one of your unnumbered creations. Let us not forget this wilderness time. Help us to be more worthy citizens of our mother earth.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Germany:
Friends, there is little new to report since last month. We here are among the 100 countries worldwide that are on some form of “lockdown.” During this month, I had hoped to clean out the closets, finish a book I’m translating, and read through the pile of books that has been waiting for me for a very long time.
Instead, I have been learning to keep our congregation together through online media. This is a humbling experience, frustrating and yet ultimately rewarding. Instead of sanctuary worship and dinner church once a month, we are worshipping weekly at 11:00am Central Europe time and also having our ongoing discussion group on Thursday evenings. It has been a blessing for all of us, and while I still struggle with the nuts and bolts of the technical bits, I am grateful that we can and do worship together, stay in touch with each other and remain a congregation. We chose an interactive platform so that we could see each other’s faces, which lets others take part in the service by reading scripture and sharing prayers and concerns. We stay afterward for “virtual” coffee hour.
I know that many congregations are doing much of the same. Computer technology will always be a deep mystery for me and, that said, I am grateful for the folks who work to make this technology useable for folks like me. I’m sure I am not alone!
Yesterday I was able to capture a bit of spring in a nearby park: a lilac bush heavy with clusters of fragrance, and a tree trying on its new leaves. Also a selfie in front of a picture I took in Galuzzo, near Florence, Italy.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Rosalind Gnatt
More information on Germany: https://www.globalministries.org/germany
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Germany:
Rosalind Gnatt serves with the Evangelical Church of Hesse-Nassau, Germany. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS, and your special gifts. special gifts.