Pray with South Africa on Sunday, February 4, 2018
Lectionary Selection: Mark 1:29-39
Prayers for South Africa:
Gracious God, by your power, make the Gospel message universal. Teach us through the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Word, that the Gospel is ‘good news’ and not ‘law and order.’ Through the Holy Spirit, provide us an epiphany that alerts us to the fact that the Gospel is not determined by national borders made by humans. May you, our God, the Son and the Holy Spirit awaken us to a spirit of mission, that deprioritizes parochialism and emphasizes a diverse and Pentecostal Church. Inspire us to connect with those less privileged, for what a pity it would be to allow our privilege to merely protect itself. May you bless your followers, so that we may use all the tools at our disposal to pray, to connect, to listen and to respond when needed. In doing so, may we emulate your son, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from South Africa:
Scholars agree, Mark is the earliest written gospel narrative that we currently possess. The author wrote shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem by the then-future Emperor Titus in 70 AD. One author recounted the event: “[…] everywhere was slaughter and flight. Most of the victims were peaceful citizens, weak and unarmed, butchered wherever they were caught.” So, Mark’s Gospel is in large part written as a response to a real suffering. Suffering can be deeply personal as well as societal. So, Mark wrote about Jesus’ response to suffering, both personal, with Simon’s mother-in-law (31-32), and societal, with “the whole city” (33), through healings and exorcisms. Jesus’ response to suffering was first prayer (35), as we are through these weekly prayers, and then action: mission. Jesus declares, “Let us go to the neighboring towns […]” (38). Thus, our faith life is in large part governed by how we as Jesus followers respond to suffering. There is much suffering in our own city, there is much suffering in the neighboring towns. Jesus did not stop with responding to suffering close to home with a mantra that said ‘My City First.’ After prayer, Jesus broadened his scope to neighboring towns, which were not referred to as ‘fecal-holes.’ Your support of Inanda Seminary enables young, bright, black girls to realize their fullest God-given potential through Christian education, thus enabling them to respond appropriately and potently to the suffering in their cities and to neighboring towns – even ours in North America.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Scott Couper)
Mission Partners in South Africa:
- Related Institution: Ons Plek
- South African Council of Churches
- South Africa Synod, United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
- Theological Education by Extension College
- United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
More information on South Africa: http://www.globalministries.org/south_africa
Global Ministries Mission Coworker in South Africa:
Rev. Dr. Scott Couper, serves as a long-term volunteer with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa. Scott’s appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.