Lectionary Selection: Matthew 5:21-37
Prayers for Japan:
Thank you for who you are.
Thank you for being a God that sees us not for the rules we follow, but what is in our hearts.
When the rules only say, “do not be mean,” help us to be intentionally and especially kind. When the sign says, “do not litter,” help us to pick up even the trash that is not ours.
When you instruct us to not seek vengeance, help us to truly forgive.
Help us to serve you with all our hearts.
We live in a world where courts, laws, and judges have the authority to decide what is “just” and what is “right,” yet too often these human judgments fail to reflect true justice and righteousness, which comes from you. Teach us true justice and righteousness.
We pray for the people who are hungry, the communities that are marginalized, and the environment that suffers at the hands of people seeking to make a profit.
Teach us to be good stewards, good servants, and good neighbors, to not only recognize the value of every individual but to actively make space and invite them in.
Teach us to follow you from the inside out.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Japan:
There is something very special about sharing a meal.
Growing up, mealtime meant there would be food prepared, a place saved for me, and that we would serve one another.
Jesus spoke about the importance of food, of people being fed spiritually and physically. In this world, it is heartbreaking to think that not everyone knows where their next meal is coming from. The environment suffers as authorities choose profits over people.
As we follow Jesus’ example, so does the Asian Rural Institute. Each year they invite grassroots leaders to train in sustainable agriculture, community building, and servant leadership. At ARI the food is grown by the community as they live and work together. ARI believes in the importance of “foodlife,” a term coined by Rev. Dr. Toshihiro Takami that means the connection between food and life.
As Jesus created community wherever He went, ARI also practices intentional community-building; recognizing that every member is valuable, equal, and worthy of a seat at the table. People are not only either teachers or learners but all learn and teach one another through daily life and work.
In addition, ARI teaches servant leadership. Jesus gave the example by taking a servant's garment and washing the disciples' feet. ARI practices leadership through serving others, being an example, and treating others as equals.
May we learn to be good stewards of food, save each other a seat at the table, and practice being leaders by serving our neighbor.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Abi Hernandez
Mission Partners in Japan:
More information on Japan:https://www.globalministries.org/japan
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Japan:
Abi Hernandez serves with the Asian Rural Institute, Japan. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, and your special gifts.