‘Grace and peace to you from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen’ (Revelation 1: 4b-6)
As ‘Chosen People: Called to Proclaim’ the greatness of God, let us remember that Christ has gained the victory over death and will welcome into eternal life all those who trust in him. In the presence of death and destruction, pain and loss, the risen Christ still brings grace and peace, comfort and hope, healing and renewal.
Jesus, Alpha and Omega, constant and faithful Lord, we come to you to plead for a world damaged by hatred, violence and destruction. We are shocked by the loss of life in Sri Lanka through the wilful and devastating actions of men and women who do not know you. We are horrified by the further destruction of lives and property in Mozambique through cyclone Kenneth. We sympathise with the people of France who watched their Notre Dame Cathedral burn. We still pray for those who lost loved ones in the attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. We long for news of political change in countries where there is injustice and oppression. We yearn for peace where there is no peace. We grieve over the wastefulness and greed that is destroying our planet. Living Lord, show us how we can play our part in bringing your grace and peace into this hurting, suffering world. Show us where you are already growing your kingdom, and help us to join in with your work of transformation. Amen.
We thank God for those who met in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the Latin America Area Seminar last month and were able to share their stories without fear. Thank God for their courageous witness and determination to end violence against women, and to usher in a society of justice and equal opportunities.
We also thank God for creative initiatives that bring:
- hope to people in distress, and generate incomes for those in poverty;
- comfort to the bereaved and friendship to the lonely;
- education to end illiteracy and medical supplies to those who are sick;
- food for the hungry and homes for the dispossessed;
- welcome for the refugees and good news of the gospel to those who still do not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
In all these acts of love, we see the hand of God at work. To God be the glory for ever and ever. Amen