Lectionary Selection: John 2:13-22
Prayers for Indonesia:
O guardian of sacred space—of our fellowships of intent, our bodies and souls, we pray for the migrant workers of Indonesia whose poverty makes them vulnerable to trafficking and abuse in foreign lands, and whose families accept their absence as the new normal. May your mission of redemption touch the lives of those far from home, trapped as indentured laborers, some maimed for life. We pray for the Evangelical Christian Church of Timor that its new ministry, House of Hope, reflect its name in action. Guide its staff and board members as they seek to provide safe shelter, and care of body and spirit to victims of human trafficking. Strengthen us to accept this as our mission as well. Grant us courage to overturn the tables of those who exploit naiveté; and drive from our temples those who forfeit integrity for profit. We pray especially for 21-year-old Adelina who returned home from Malaysia in a coffin at the beginning of Lent. May your comfort touch the lives of her family so they too can join your mission of redeeming and renewing hope. In the name of Jesus, whose anger we remember, Amen.Read more
Focusing on the theme ‘Lord, Send Your Light and Truth to Lead Us’, the Asian Ecumenical Youth Assembly (AEYA) initiated by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) is scheduled to take place in Manado, North Sulewesi, Indonesia, April 6-13, 2018.Read more
Interfidei is a Global Ministries partner in Indonesia. This newsletter features articles on art and culture, peacemaking, and the history of Interfidei.
In her seminal work, Texts of Terror (Fortress Press, 1984), Phyllis Trible gives us stories, a methodology, and a perspective for engaging with the Bible in ways that challenge us to admit: “Sad stories do not have happy endings” (p. 2). For example, Hagar is a woman of many “firsts”.
Hagar is a pivotal figure in biblical theology. She is the first person in scripture whom a divine messenger visits and the only person who dares to name the deity . . .[S]he is the first woman to bear a child [outside of Genesis 1-11], . . .the first woman to hear an annunciation, the only one to receive a divine promise of descendants, and the first to weep for her dying child. (p. 28)Read more
Cuando yo era niño, hablaba como niño, pensaba como niño, razonaba como niño; mas cuando me hice hombre, dejé a un lado lo que era de niño. 1 Corintios 13:11
"Esperar con anticipación" es el tema ancestral de Adviento. Cuando era niña recuerdo haber esperado con anticipación la mañana de Navidad, cuando mi hermano, mi hermana y yo bajábamos volando hacia montones de brillantes regalos bajo una cubierta de brillo y adornos de vidrio. La Escuela Dominical me había enseñado que había una conexión entre el regalo de amor de Dios en el nacimiento de Jesús y nuestros regalos mutuos. Pero en la imaginación de una jovencita, ese significado se volvió turbio: siempre había una desconexión entre el mensaje de un bebé nacido en un pesebre apestoso (seguramente apestaba como lo sabe cualquier dueño de ganado) y el brillo de los juguetes.Read more
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 1 Corinthians 13:11
“Wait with anticipation” is the age-old theme of Advent. As a child I remember waiting with anticipation for Christmas morning when my brother, sister, and I would fly downstairs to piles of bright gifts beneath a spruce covered in glitter and glass ornaments. Sunday School had taught me there was a connection between God’s gift of love in the birth of Jesus and our giving gifts to one another. But in a youngster’s imagination, that meaning became murky—there was always a disconnect between the message of a baby born in a stinky manger (surely it stank as any livestock owner knows) and the glitter of toys.Read more
It isn’t easy to be one nation with 17,000 islands, 1,300 ethnic groups, 450 languages, and multiple religions. Indonesia’s early founders recognized the need for a uniformity of vision and identity that included opposition to centuries of Dutch colonial rule, a common language and currency, one flag, and a national ideology known as Pancasila, “five pillars”. However, as evidenced during former President Suharto’s 31-year dictatorship, abuses can occur in the name of national unity. The government’s repeated refusal to acknowledge indigenous rights for the “good of the nation” became a standard practice that continues today, decades after Suharto’s demise.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 14:15-21
Prayers for Indonesia
O Holy One of Truth and Love, we long for the Advocate that embodies a Spirit of Truth. We are so often confused by claims about truth and falsehoods, facts and fake news, that we forget our mission to love and care for all. May Your acts of love and compassion inspire us to nurture our local communities as well as national and international ones.
We pray for the many small churches in rural Indonesia who seek an Advocate to stand by them in their struggle to protect the mountains, forests and streams you have entrusted to them. Strengthen our bonds in the spirit of partnership so that there will be no orphans in the Family of God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.Read more
We returned to the US just one day after demonstrations were being held at airports across the country to protest the Trump administration’s immigrant ban. It was difficult to breeze through customs and immigration at Logan International in Boston knowing that others, by the circumstance of birth alone, were being turned away. The body politic in this country— the ability to live together as members of one community—is being tested. Parallels with issues in Indonesia are striking: tolerance of difference and the role of faith in politics is being tested there as well.Read more