Pray with Indonesia, August 8, 2021

Pray with Indonesia, August 8, 2021

Lectionary Selection:  Ephesians 4:25-5:2

Prayers for Indonesia:  

To our loving God, in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, continue to hold the people of Indonesia in your loving arms; have mercy on those who are suffering from the illness, on those who have lost family members, as well as on the many who have lost sources of income in a country with few saving accounts and no safety nets. Strengthen those in leadership positions who seek to address the many issues associated with the pandemic: the shortage of health care services and hospital beds, the lack of vaccines, and the resistance to lockdowns and social distancing. Put away the falsehoods that discourage people from accepting vaccinations. May the Holy Spirit inspire the people to find ways to be together safely, using masks, technologies, and creativity so that they can gather without threatening their health by exposing themselves and each other to the virus. All of this we pray in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who loves us and gives himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Amen.

Mission Stewardship Moment from Indonesia:

Indonesia’s most popular proverb says, “Whether there’s food on the table or not, what’s important is that we gather around it.” Sadly, this otherwise inspirational proverb has become a stumbling block in Indonesia’s experience of the coronavirus pandemic.

In June 2021, Indonesia saw its highest number of cases since the pandemic began. Less than 5% of the population has been vaccinated. While the government is reluctant to impose isolation on its gregarious population, many people are falling prey to social media’s anti-vaccine rhetoric. The passage from Ephesians reminds us to put away falsehood and speak the truth to our neighbors. Rarely has the danger of telling lies had such fatal consequences as it does today with the falsehoods about the dangers of vaccines or that the virus is a hoax.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Indonesian culture – putting connection to others before self-interest, as reflected in the above proverb – has, in this time of necessary isolation, become a liability. Indonesians continue to assemble for important family occasions and religious holidays because these are what gives their lives meaning and rhythm. They follow Ephesians, putting away bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling, and slander in order to be in fellowship with one another. Not even a deadly virus can outweigh their longing to gather together.

While we ache for the people of Indonesia as they struggle to navigate this difficult time, we trust in a loving God, who hears our prayers as well as theirs. In the midst of what seems such intractable problems faced by the Indonesian people, our God of steadfast love is surely bringing healing and new life.

Prayer and Mission Moment by Rebecca Young

Mission Partners in Indonesia:

More information on Indonesia

Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Indonesia:
Rebecca teaches ethics and practical theology at the Graduate School of the Faculty of Theology of Artha Wacana University.
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