Every single day, across our country and world, people are hurting. That word, "hurting," can't really even begin to touch the depths of the tragedy and pain. War, poverty, hunger and famine, slavery, sex trafficking, corruption, oppression, land issues, racism, financial inequality, disease, gender issues, malnutrition, terrorism, religious conflicts, natural disasters, and on and on.
Our world is broken. Sin entered the world long ago; and with its arrival, everything to follow has been broken and distorted. Yet, there is hope for all people, hope for all the nations. Jesus, as a compassionate and victorious savior, cares for all people and longs to bring us into healing and redemption still. Our God and Father, cares for his creation and sees us (every single one of us) as recipients of his favor (as seen in Psalm 67)!
Where do we come in? How does this affect us? And to be honest, does it affect us? Do we care? Are we hurting when we see and think of the devastation and pain in the world?
A group of people in our church family started talking about this...about the world and all the suffering. Over the next several months, this group has committed to bringing attention and information about the world and its suffering to our church family. We will pray as a church family and, hopefully, as individuals. Through this process, our desire is that God will shape our church and our hearts to become more like him, that our concerns and dreams will be become more like his!
PURPOSE: To create awareness. To help us genuinely care. To learn to see as God sees, to think as God thinks, to do as God does.
NOT THE PURPOSE: To alleviate all suffering. To right all wrongs. To take political stands or statements on issues. To start a non-profit or website. To shock, scare, or guilt.
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Written by a member of our church family:
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. You, our Father God, are good and great. There is no one like you. No one has the power you have. There is no one as loving and caring as you are. No one is as creative as you.
Thank you for your son Jesus. Thank you for your Holy Spirit.
Father God, we have things to confess: We want our own power, for our purposes. We do not love as Jesus loved. We do not care about the same people you care about. We are satisfied imagining what is good instead of what is best.
You are different from us.
You care about the people of Burundi - those who are causing trouble and the thousands who have left the country out of fear. You love the people of Myanmar - those who oppress and those who are being oppressed. You are in Syria because you want to be, though few of us can imagine such. The people of Ukraine are important to you, whether we know where it is or not. The violence and poverty in Central America causes you pain. Father God, you are disturbed that children of Flint, Michigan have been poisoned and will suffer all their lives.
We need eyes that see people as you do. We see in categories of rich/poor, young/old, short/tall, white/black/brown. Your eyes see children in need of Jesus. You see possibilities for harmony. You see redemption. We need eyes like yours.
We need a heart like yours - big, embracing, caring. What would it take for you to create in us a heart that moves toward all people? How can we get a heart that loves people we currently do not think about? We need a heart as bold as yours.
We need an imagination that allows us to think like you do. We think of safety and convenience first. We like to imagine being comfortable and secure. You imagine a people leaving their home, their parents, and their country. You imagine whole populations around the earth discovering Jesus and knowing love. We need thoughts like yours.
Father God, what do you want us to do? What do you want us to want? Because you are our Holy Father, we ask for your kingdom to come in us. We ask in Jesus’ name because he knows what to do and how to do it. Amen."