Today we end our week-long look at God's New People "Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God."
Paragraphs 1-6: Preamble (April 11-29)
Paragraphs 7-12: Creation (April 30-May 8)
Paragraphs 13-17: Fall (May 11-15)
Paragraphs 18-22: Redemption (May 18-22)
Paragraphs 23-27: Jesus Christ
Paragraphs 28-30: Holy Spirit
Today, in the US and some other parts of the world, is Juneteenth, sometimes called Freedom day. It has been observed as the day to mark the Emancipation of US slaves for over 150 years, and has recently spread, to varying degrees, across the States.
Sunday in Canada is National Indigenous Peoples Day. Going back to 1996, it is set aside as a day recognising and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. The Christian Reformed Church acknowedges the day with Indigenous Ministry Sunday.
Both of these events are very good invitations to remember, acknowledge and reflect as we "grieve that the church, has become a broken communion in a broken world." In this year when COVID-19 has forced many of the events to go online, it is also a unique opportunity to participate in something from far across our country or continent.
This prayer for restored relationships comes to us from the Canadian Indigenous Ministry Committee:
Creator, Maker, Sustainer,
We come and give thanks for this day!
Thank you that we can see your faithfulness to us in the rising of the sun each day.
Father, we praise you and honour you for the gift of Jesus and the Great Spirit.
Let our response be to love one another, walk alongside another and help one another.
Help us to see the rich beauty of different cultures.
Confront us with your Spirit when our thoughts and behaviours do not bring honour and peace.
Creator we give thanks for the many people who work tirelessly to restore relationships between nonIndigenous and Indigenous people. Specifically, we want to lift up the Canadian Indigenous Ministry Committee of the Christian Reformed Church. Bless their efforts with joy and peace.
We celebrate the faithful years of ministry through the Indigenous Family Centre in Winnipeg, the Indigenous Christian Fellowship in Regina and the Native Healing Centre in Edmonton. We shout with joy for the prayers and monies that have allowed these communities to walk more closely with your Son.
Please continue to gift us with peace, joy and love as we continue to journey together until Jesus returns and we can all fall on our knees at your throne, praying, dancing and singing “Hallelujah to our Creator Redeemer and Sustainer.” Hiy, Hiy*, Amen! (*Cree for “thank you very much”)
As I try and complete this daily blog, there is a minor fender bender right outside my office window on Burnhamthorpe Road. Both cars then turn into our driveway and the shouting, threats and accusations fly. After some quick prayer, I went out twice to make sure they didn't come to blows. (They didn't. Mostly they just took videos of one another yelling.) I'm reminded how hard it is for us all to get along, given the daily bumps of life. But as N.T. Wright pointed out in our recent study of Philemon, the reconcilation that Christ secured is at the cosmic, institutional and personal levels. Such is the power of the cross.
Our song for today is "We seek your Kingdom," a prayer suggested by Herman and Diane.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
PS - Thank you to all who took part in the Shalem session last evening. It was good to learn that I am not alone in feeling these stresses in my body from this pandemic! The handout is posted here on the events page for your use.