Mission Devotional - May 9, 2016

My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

Today's Devotional Reading

Lamentations 3:20-24
Today I find it difficult to offer much in the way of clear, purposeful thought. Weighing heavy and clanging loudly on my mind, and in my soul today is the chaos and brutality of the world. The overwhelming suffering and grief so many are experiencing at this very moment on every continent. The injustice and oppression that so many live under with what seems to be the perpetual reality of their life. The arrogance and indifference of so many around the globe (particularly those in authority) makes me angry, deeply sad, and wondering 'How long O' Lord?' until it will be made right.

Ultimately, I'm also deeply uncomfortable because I sense the same arrogance and indifference in myself. I grieve the fact that I, in more ways than I would ever imagine, benefit from the very oppression I hate. The foolishness, brutality and chaos I lament and shake my fists at is often rooted in an attitude I too must own that's not all that different - unhealthy anger, chaotic emotions, lustful desire for control, and willed distraction. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and in my spirit I feel empty with helplessness; heavy with disappointment over the state of the world 'out there.' And, to an even greater degree, I feel the same about my own interior world. So I guess this devotion, these words, like those of Jeremiah and many others, constitute a prayer of confession and a prayer of lament.

I am thankful though, because I believe it's the Holy Spirit who leads me to such a place, such a desperation, such a gift. This is strange gift, to be sure. It is only fully experienced, though, by realizing this mysterious Holy Spirit, this purposeful Christ, this good Father hears, sees, knows, comes down, enters into the darkness and chaos I lament because his steadfast love never ceases. He willingly experiences the sin and suffering of the broken world in depths I cannot imagine so that his mercies toward us may never come to an end. So today, we are invited to confess, lament and worship as we seek again to believe this hope of hopes: Christ's steadfast love means "everything sad will become untrue" because he is making all things new. - Doug Messer, CSPC Pastor for Adults & Community Care

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

M. and E. live in a Creative Access country as "Tent Makers." M's work gives him unparalleled access to the local population. Pray today for growth of M's business so that it can better support them and so that it can open more doors for ministry.