Lectionary Selection: Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)
Prayers for the Philippines:
God of mercy and steadfast love, incline your ears to the cry and anguish of your suffering people. They have suffered so much from the hands of the haughty and the mighty, and many of them are dying before their time. Many are without bread and hungry even as they labor day and night in the fields and factories, while others are wallowing in wealth and affluence. The farmers, such as that of Lupang Ramos, have given their sweat and labors to till the land, but they are under threat of eviction. The Lumads, the indigenous peoples of the Philippines, and other indigenous communities around the world, have been displaced from their ancestral domains in the name of development. Many lives have been wasted, especially the lowly ones, in the name of the war on drugs and in the name of peace.
Knowing your mighty acts of liberation and your steadfast love, we come to you to with our prayers and hopes. As in the past, we trust that you will bring down the mighty from their thrones, lift up the lowly from the mire of misery, and fill the hungry with good things.
With your ever-present Holy Spirit, comfort your people in their hours of tribulation that they may not waiver in their hopes and empower them to conspire with others in the work of helping usher your peaceable and livable world.
This we pray in the Name of the One who was crucified and resurrected with the people. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from the Philippines:
Displaced from their ancestral homes because of mining and militarization and other forms of developmental aggression, the Lumads (indigenous peoples of the Philippines) have sought temporary sanctuary among hospitable communities. Union Theological Seminary (UTS) has been privileged to host the Lumads. The Lumads stayed for a month at UTS campus, which they felt so much at home because of its natural environment. Through UTS’ hospitality, the Lumad children were able to continue their education through the traveling Bakwit (evacuees) School. To the surprise of the host, the Lumads/strangers became their teachers. In the encounter, the seminary community experienced revelation and transformation.
Seeking to be faithful, as Jesus did, to its core value of contextual timeliness, prophetic boldness, and compassionate witness, members of the UTS community, particularly seminarians, have organized a regular Sunday Worship (Lingguhang Panambahan) with a farmers’ group (Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Lupang Ramos) that is occupying the 372 hectares—an agricultural land that they have claimed for their livelihood. This Sunday Worship has been going on for some months now, with students coming home from the day’s activity with unspeakable joy and a better understanding of God and stronger commitment to the least.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Eleazar Fernandez
Mission Partners in the Philippines:
- Dansalan College Foundation
- Northern Christian College
- Silliman University
- Southern Christian College
- Union Theological Seminary
- United Church of Christ in the Philippines
More information on Philippines: https://www.globalministries.org/philippines
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Philippines:
Eleazar Fernandez serves with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.