Lectionary Selection: John 14:8-17
Prayers for Indonesia:
Spirit of Truth, in Jesus Christ we see you. We see your unbounded love for this world—for all its creatures and all its peoples. Today we pray for Indonesia, a country enriched but also divided by the diversity of your creation: a country where palm oil plantations obliterate the native forests; where young people are bought and sold, their bodies a sacrifice to the gods of modernity; where the capital city is sinking into the sea from the weight of concrete and steel; a country where people call to you by many names, in hundreds of languages, where churches and mosques are overflowing with people who are still aware of their need for You. Spirit of Truth, recent elections have strengthened Indonesia's democracy, but at the same time have left Indonesia's religious communities increasingly divided from one another. Spirit of Jesus Christ, open their eyes, open our eyes, that we may see one another for who we really are: beloved children of God, sisters, and brothers. Though we call You by many names, You are still One God. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Indonesia:
Thirty years ago a young pastor wanted to bring local culture into the worship of the church. He worked with the youth group to use traditional dance and gongs for the processional. As the gongs rang out and the dancers entered the church, the church elders stood up and walked out. They had been taught that their own culture was pagan and had no place in church.
Flash forward: today, every month of May is celebrated as language and culture month in our partner church, The Evangelical Church of West Timor (GMIT). Every Sunday, a different culture and language are celebrated through dance, song, weavings, and traditional foods. One Sunday a group of high school students from Sabu Island performed a dance of thanksgiving for the offertory, and the rhythmic pounding of their feet left many in the pews bouncing in time with the dance. Weavings in the chancel portrayed the mamuli, a Sumbanese symbol of the womb, source of life, and roosters, a common symbol of the call to worship God. GMIT's Confession of Faith (2007) proclaims, "The Spirit spoke to our ancestors . . . and still speaks to us today." In these symbols, we see an indigenous gospel, one at last brought into creative dialogue with the Gospel of Christ.
In keeping with this spirit of dialogue, GMIT has sponsored Bible translations into dozens of local languages and has produced many hymns using local folk tunes. GMIT theologians also contributed essays to Gereja Orang Merdeka (A Church for Free People: Postcolonial Indonesian Ecclesiology), recently published by another CGMB partner, Oase. CGMB support strengthens the ministries of GMIT and Oase in nurturing a free, creative, and indigenous church.
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 with the Evangelical Church of West Timor. Mission Co-Worker appointments are made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS, and your special gifts.