Lectionary Selection: Matthew 3:13-17
Prayers for Indonesia:
O Blessed Creator, You have spread the seas of Indonesia with thousands of islands, each a place of beauty and abundant life. And yet every day our cities pour out pollution, and the sea level rises higher. The burning of forests for palm oil plantations fills the air with carbon and darkens the sun, while your people struggle to find enough clean water to drink, cook, and bathe. Corruption subverts our best efforts to restore the beauty of Your creation. Baptize Your world once again—clean our air, clean our water, clean our politics and our economy, clean our hearts. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who was baptized in order to share all our burdens. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Indonesia:
A recent environmental study found that Jakarta's rivers dump more than 2,000 tons of plastic into the Jakarta Bay every year. Indeed, most of the rivers that run through Indonesian cities are little more than open sewers. Sadly, the urban poor often have nowhere else to turn for water to bathe, wash clothing, and even cook. Even so, we can imagine Jesus joining them in this filthy water; the whole point of His baptism was to show that He entered willingly into all the sin and dirt of human life, especially among the poor.
Here in rural Timor, John and Jesus would face a different problem: for much of the year, Timor's rivers are dry, with only a few pools of stagnant water where village women line up every morning to fill plastic containers with their families' daily water allotment. John and Jesus would have to wait until the rainy season for the baptism, and even then they would need to wait for the floodwaters to subside. Climate change has brought more extremes of both drought and typhoons.
Our partner church, the Evangelical Christian Church of Timor (GMIT), has taken the lead in water conservation by promoting tree planting (encouraging each family to plant a tree at the time of a child's baptism) and digging biopores to catch more rainwater. GMIT also promotes efforts to reduce the use of plastic and develop better systems of waste disposal. Surely an adequate supply of clean water is part of what Jesus meant by His call to "fulfill all righteousness" (Mt. 3:15).
Prayer and Mission Moment by John Campbell Nelson
Mission Partners in Indonesia:
More information on Indonesia: https://www.globalministries.org/indonesia
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Indonesia:
John Campbell-Nelson serves the Evangelical Christian Church of West Timor. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.