Lectionary Selection: Exodus: 14:19-31
Prayers for Fiji:
In the darkest of times, the Lord is there with us. While the Egyptian army pursued the Israelites on their trek to a better life, God was ever-present and assisted the refugees all along the way. In the final desperate hour, intervening through the natural world, God played a pivotal role by acting as both a protector and ultimate defender of the Israelites. This intervention can be viewed as a balancing of the scales between two peoples that had long interacted with one persistently holding an advantageous position. In our world today, there is a need for people to recognize the incidents where a measure of intervention is necessary. Many are struggling for freedom, independence, they and their children's future, and even more efforts that may not ever be recognized.
I would bring to the table the people of the Pacific Islands working to live through the impact COVID-19 has had on their livelihood, those who are impacted by the changes in weather intensity and sea level, and also those working to free themselves from injustice be it institutionalized or maintained by force. May blessing and prayers be with the people that work to bring stability and equality to themselves and others particularly in the trying times of today as we struggle to find a balance in our lives. With the idea of normal shifting, it is important to look outwards to the people that do not have the luxury of having the security of a known future with the changing of climates and loss of economic opportunity. Prayer for those who feel lost in their efforts, and may all find the strength to move forward. Let tomorrow always be better than today and may the world advance to a brighter future. Amen.Read more
I have had the opportunity to work with the Pacfic Council of Churches in Suva, Fiji during these past few weeks, and have continued to plod along through work even as the island has been put under pressure by the threat of COVID-19. Throughout these stressful times PCC has remained active in local communities in a variety of ways and remaining involved in as many ways as they could conceive. I suppose I should be going at this more narratively rather than starting in the middle.Read more
I have heard many people talk about wishing that they could go on a cruise or live in a tropical paradise. Many have wished they had the opportunity to own an island getaway. And now here I am living in an island paradise.Read more
I have heard many people talk about wishing that they could go on a cruise or live on a tropical paradise.Read more
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:11
As we prepare for Easter, we cannot celebrate life in Jesus without acknowledging the pain and suffering around us. We cannot be prostrate at the foot of the cross without looking up to see the nails that tore through our Savior’s flesh. How then can we worship God freely and truly when vicious human desire tears through humanity as a whole?Read more
El diablo entonces le dejó; y he aquí vinieron ángeles y le servían. Mateo 4:11
Mientras nos preparamos para la Pascua, no podemos celebrar la vida en Jesús sin reconocer el dolor y el sufrimiento que nos rodea. No podemos postrarnos al pie de la cruz sin mirar hacia arriba para ver los clavos que atravesaron la carne de nuestro Salvador. Entonces, ¿cómo podemos adorar a Dios con libertad y verdad cuando el deseo humano vicioso desgarra a toda la humanidad?Read more
Last week, the only regional ecumenical institution in the Southern Hemisphere, the Pacific Theological College (PTC), celebrated the induction of its new principal, the Rev. Dr. Upolu Lumā Vaai. Rev. Dr. Vaai hails from the island country of Samoa.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 21:25-36
Prayers for Fiji:
Creator God, Lord of the land and sea, we are grateful for the beauty of the world. We see your hand working miraculously in everything that we have touched and defiled because of our greed. The ocean used to roar in praise and awe at your marvelous and majestic work. But now it roars in pain, its surface becoming warmer evermore that it spews out unpredictable storms that have swallowed our people without mercy.
The land cries for help, bleeding from the exploitation of our governments and corporate organizations in the name of economic development. We are seeing the signs of our greed. For many of us in the Pacific, these are the last days. Our homes will be taken away by the ocean, our language, cultures, and identity will soon forever disappear from the face of earth.
But Lord, our hope is in you. Our strength is in our vulnerability. That when it seems like we have lost everything, we have a voice – a voice that swells deep from our weakness. Our conviction and faith in you causes us to rise despite our insignificance in terms of population, we rise, we rise above the odds and fight for our homes, our future generations, and our earth.
We pray Lord that you continue to be beside us, walk with us, swim with us, and cry with us. And may the day come that our tears be dried and hearts comforted, knowing that efforts are not in vain. This we pray in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who died to make everything new. Amen.Read more
It is winter in the south. Winter in the tropics is not decorated with snow or below-zero temperatures, but rather cool winds and beautiful sunshine graces the Pacific. For the people of the Pacific, especially in the south and central Pacific, winter is a time for celebration. This is because from November to April we have our cyclone season. During this time, we have excessive rainfall and floods, lots of landslides and rough seas resulting in many of our seafarers going missing at sea. In the month May our winter begins, and with it, gentle sunshine for cultivating new land and planting our yams and other root crops essential to the diet of Pacific islanders. It is also nice to have the cool breeze of the tropical Pacific lowering the heat.Read more
The churches in the Pacific are standing beside the people of Kiribati (an island nation in the northern Pacific, south of Hawaii) in a very trying and painful moment in their maritime history. On January 18 the ferry MV Butiraoi (pronounce pushy-rah-o-ee) left the island of Nonouti (pronounce nor- nor –oush-ee) for the capital of Kiribati Tarawa. The ferry was carrying 72 adults, 13 high school students, and 10 elementary school children. None of the children survived the ordeal.Read more