Lectionary Selection: John 10:11-18
Prayers for Mexico:
Today we pray for Mexico, caught in the shadow between light and darkness.
In the womb where nativity waits,
In the grey fog before dawn,
In the curve of the tunnel hiding the exit,
In time suspended, half-way, no longer there, not yet beyond.
Between despair and hope shared,
but not yet fulfilled.
Between fear and courage opening its wings
but not yet alight.
Between sadness and joy bubbling up from the depths
but not yet overflowing.
Between suffering and justice opening its hands
but not yet embracing.
Between hate and the seed of love planted
but not yet germinating.
The shadows incubate dignity to be born.
The shadows solemnly announce the joy of new day.
The shadows excitedly predict a new breath of freedom.
The shadows stretch us irresistibly towards the light.
As the shadows point the path to the sun,
So our faith leads us on the path of peace.
Here, in the land of the eagle and the jaguar,
The cactus and the chocolate tree,
Where the sun hides behind the mountains
and beyond shimmering seas,
shalom is forged in these shadowlands.
(Prayer originally in Spanish. Written and translated by Elena Huegel.)
Mission Stewardship Moment from Mexico:
"I have other sheep that are not from this sheep pen. I must bring them together too, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd." John 10:16
The Bible is full of bittersweet experiences of immigration. In this monument of recycled materials we have honored the Mexican migrant, the El Salvadoran, the Uruguayan, the European, and the migrant from the United States of America, as well as those on God's mission, from whatever country, who have also left their place of origin, their comfort zone. We express our shame for in our country, Mexico, as well as around the world, migrants have lost their dignity in the dungeons of judgment, racism, violence, stereotype, and misunderstanding, but we celebrate their tenacity and hope in new opportunities, new challenges, new dreams.
Immigration smacks of contradictions. We love and hate our neighbor and they us, and perhaps this is precisely the time to remember that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers; our fight is not against our brothers of a different color or our sisters of a different language; our struggle is not against our own flesh and blood. Our struggle is against the oppressive and deceptive messages of "hate your enemy," against the powers that want to divide us to conquer us, against the principalities for whom it would be inconvenient if we understood that we are called by the voice of the Good Shepherd, and invited with all our differences, to be one human flock.
Today we invite you to recognize with us those migrants past, present, and future. We remember our ancestors who dared to seek out a new life in an unknown world and our ancestors from this land who migrated hunting for food or to trade. We pray for the sheep who are from those other mysterious pens, loved by the Good Shepherd, who calls to them in their language and culture. We long for the day when the Good Shepherd will bring us all in, clearing our confusions, transforming our pain, and rejoicing in the multi-hued wonders of the Creator's imagination.
(Translated and adapted from the group reflections during the "Four winds of healing: hope for traumatized communities" course of the Roots in the ruins: hope in trauma program in Jerez, Zacatecas, México)
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Elena Huegel)
Mission Partners in Mexico:
- Confraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) (CICE)
- Congregational Christian Churches of Mexico
- Disciples of Christ Church in Mexico (IDCM)
- Institute for Intercultural Study and Research (INESIN)
- Las Memorias Hostel
- Melel Xojobal
- Mexican Roundtable
- Theological Community of Mexico (TCM)
More information on Mexico: http://www.globalministries.org/mexico
Global Ministries Mission Coworker in Mexico:
Elena Huegel, member of Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer, Los Fresnos, TX, serves with the Intercultural Research and Studies Institute (INESIN), Chiapas, Mexico. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples' Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.