Lectionary Selection: Luke 2:22-40
Prayers for Lebanon:
Praise the Lord (Hallelujah!).
We come before you, joining all of creation, and praise your name. Praise to you, the Creator of all in the universe, the Giver of life, the Provider and Sustainer of us all.
We at times are not aware of your unending love for us, and yet you continue to love us with unconditional love. At times we are impatient in our waiting for peace, security, better living conditions, better finances, and yet you patiently gather us in your arms and bless us to the fullness of your glory, mercy, and grace.
Help the people of Lebanon to have eyes to see your presence in the darkest and most uncertain moments of their lives.
We thank you for blessing us with the precious gift of the promised One. Through the Holy Spirit help us all to recognize and praise the sovereign Lord, and know that the divine, newborn Gift will raise those who believe in him.
God of hope, fill us all with joy and peace as we trust in Christ, and so overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Lebanon:
There is a general atmosphere of concern and worry here in Lebanon, created by the continued problem of families’ already limited financial resources becoming even worse. Added to that was the recent resignation/un-resignation of the Prime Minister. These factors have certainly put a damper on the usual festive spirit of the New Year.
Haigazian University with its active campus is home to students from multiple ethnic and religious backgrounds. It is a safe haven for the free exchange of ideas despite differences.
In such an environment as this, financial support from partners such as Global Ministries is even more crucial. Students such as those I see each day are gaining important insights and skills, even as they face increasing financial instability (and a greater need for scholarship aid) and mounting doubts about the region. The students, Armenian and Arab, Muslim and Christian, Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian and others, all seek through their educational plans the promise of hope and the reality of a better future.
The prophetess Anna was a witness to the fulfillment of a promise; she thanked God and then started telling everyone about it (though her words are not recorded). Our prayer is for the people of Lebanon to not give up in the face of broken promises, but to trust the One whose birth we celebrate, the One who is always true to his promise.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Maria Bakalian)
Mission Partners in Lebanon:
- Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue (FDCD)
- Haigazian University
- National Evangelical Church of Beirut
- National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon
- Near East School of Theology
- Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East
More information on Lebanon: http://www.globalministries.org/lebanon
Global Ministries Mission Coworker in Lebanon:
Maria Bakalian is serving the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE), the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), and Haigazian University. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples' Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.