Pray for Indonesia on Sunday, August 5 2012

Pray for Indonesia on Sunday, August 5 2012

Prayers for Indonesia (John 6:24-35)

Bread of Life, Water of Life, we pray for food and water.

We pray for a bountiful harvest for the farmers of Indonesia, that they may feed their families and have enough left to sell to clothe their children and send them to school.  Preserve their land from logging and mining companies and palm oil plantations that they may continue to till the soil you have given them.

We pray for water, clean and free from disease, that the children may drink and bathe and not be sick.  But not too much, Lord. Preserve your people from floods and landslides when the rain falls upon barren hillsides where the forest has been cut down.

We ask these things not as a sign from you.  We are people of faith, and we trust in your goodness.  We ask this in your name, Bread of Life, Water of Life.  Amen.

Mission Moment from Indonesia: based on the Epistle selection

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism”  — Ephesians 4:5

A Timorese friend tells a story about his first years as a pastor in a village church in the mountains of south central Timor.  There was a grandmother who was very active in church activities, but he was surprised to learn that she had never been baptized. When he offered to baptize her, she refused. 

“I was told that if you’re baptized you’ll go to heaven, and if you aren’t you’ll go to that other place,” she said.  “Well, my husband followed the religion of our ancestors, and he died without being baptized.  Wherever he went, that’s where I have to go.”

As Paul says, faith unites us—“one Lord, one faith, one baptism”—but it also divides.  Throughout Eastern Indonesia there are many communities who face the same dilemma as this Timorese woman. By culture and tradition they are one people, but they are divided among followers of tribal religion, Christianity, and Islam, and in recent years these divisions have been exploited to create communal conflict.

The challenge to the churches is to proclaim that the Gospel of Christ is also the Gospel of our common humanity.  That is the message implicit in the new statement of the church’s mission that was formulated by the Indonesian Communion of Churches in May of this year, under the title “A Common Home for All of Creation.”  I was part of the consultation that formulated the mission statement and did the English translation The mission statement is very simple: “To struggle for justice and peace for all.”

That Timorese grandmother turned out to be a pretty good theologian.

Global Ministries is supporting contextual theological education and reflection that works toward resolving the dilemmas religion creates for people, in Indonesia and elsewhere.

(Prayer and Mission Moment offered by John Campbell-Nelson)

Video Resources for Indonesia:

INDONESIA: Living in harmony in pluri-religious society (Richard Dauley, General Secretary of the Communion of Churches of Indonesia)
Rev. Richard Dauley, General Secretary of the Communion of Church of Indonesia

Global Ministries International Partners in Indonesia/Timor:

More info on Indonesia:

Global Ministries Missionary in Indonesia:

John Campbell-Nelson serves the Evangelical Christian Church of West Timor. He has taught at the Theological Faculty of Artha Wacana University and its Center for Regional Studies and served as a consultant to the Evangelical Church in East Timor. He provides in-service training and continuing education for clergy.