Pray with the Philippines, December 19, 2021
Lectionary Selection: Luke 1:39-45
Prayers for the Philippines
God Creator, we welcome you in.
We invite you into our hearts and homes. The Advent season is a moment for us to remember your covenant with us made visible through Jesus Christ. Promises of justice and healing for communities. Fulfillment of love and peace reign supreme.
We welcome you in to light our souls ablaze to be your disciples in the world. Working in concert with our siblings to make your kingdom a lived reality. To bring down mighty rulers from their thrones and lift up the marginalized. Welcoming in change and resisting an easy acceptance of the status quo.
We particularly welcome you in prayer with our partners in the Philippines, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). They fight the authoritarian government rule that continues to violate human rights and leaves the country in economic uncertainty and condemn the attacks on church leaders. We welcome in the courageous statements from a recent pastoral letter by the National Council that “express our genuine concern for the victims of human rights violations in our Church and those in the larger society and extend various kinds of support, whether psycho-social, spiritual, material, legal or financial.” Be in our midst Creator.
Mission Stewardship Moment from the Philippines
The Christmas and Advent season is an important time in the life of the church throughout the world but especially within the Philippines. The official start to the secular Christmas season begins on September 1st and follows the “BER” months- those months ending with “BER” to round out the end of the year! It is a long and wonderful season of joy, family celebrations, festivities, and clinging to the hope that is eternally present in remembering the birth of Jesus Christ.
We’ve seen terrible injustices come to light as our neighbors aren’t all treated equally, the obvious pain and suffering of the pandemic makes this Advent still quite difficult. Hope in the face of all of that is challenging. Incredibly challenging. Perhaps hope and joy are the perfect messages to hear and reiterate, but difficult, nonetheless. The UCCP is navigating a tumultuous political climate as presidential elections are coming up and the church strives to be faithful to their prophetic work of justice and caring for their communities. It is our call and commission to stand in solidarity with the UCCP to make that hope real by never stopping in our pursuit for justice. We hear God’s voice in never conditioning our love to creation, and never settling for anything but the heavenly peace of Jesus Christ.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Andrew Larsen
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
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in the Philippines
Andrew Larsen 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.