Good Friday March 21, 2008
Thank you for sharing and praying with the worldwide Micah Challenge community. We hope this email is challenging, inspiring and spurs us on!
Wishing you all a blessed Easter!
‘The cross. So much is summed up in this one profound Christian symbol: The violence of human hatred and intolerance, political oppression and non-violent resistance--the refusal to respond in kind to these inhuman and yet very human realities in our world. The cross is a stark reminder that these things have not changed in over 2000 years.
The cross is also a sign of hope and redemption in a dark world. The story of the cross, of Jesus’ suffering and death reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles with the violence and indifference of our terrorized and terrifying world.
Our God walks with us and even in the midst of terrible suffering, promises forgiveness, freedom and eternal life. All of these are under the sign of the cross.’
This is a quote from Robert Jones writing about the fascinating history of the cross in the small Baltic state of Lithuania – the ‘land of crosses’. Under Soviet occupation, it was severely restricted to practice Christianity openly but the cross remained an open symbol of faith and also of resistance.
Please reflect on John 19: 16-27, the crucifixion of Jesus.
Let us pray:
Let’s give thanks for the powerful meaning of the cross: for the promise of forgiveness, freedom and eternal life in the midst of suffering.
For Micah Challenge Philippines who are co-hosting various conferences in the coming weeks:
A gender conference entitled ‘Men, Women and God’ organized by steering group member ISACC (Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture).
An HIV/ AIDS awareness raising workshop for church leaders organized by steering group member World Vision Philippines.
Please pray that these conferences will not only raise awareness of important issues but also lead church leaders to mobilize their churches for action.
Please pray that Micah Challenge Philippines can use these conferences to lobby political leaders on government policies relating to the conference topics.
Reflecting on the quote and statistic below: Lord, despite increasing access to retroviral treatment, still so many people die of AIDS. Today, we pray for churches across the world as they deal with the realities of HIV and AIDS and ask that you will equip pastors, counselors and care givers with love and strength.
Meditate on the Statistics
As you spend time in prayer and reflection, you may like to take a moment to silently understand with your heart the focus statistic we include each week (see below). Our hope is that you will find this series of statistics a useful resource in preparing presentations.
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Target 7: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
‘Sometimes I would like to bury an old person.’
Quote from a pastor in Zimbabwe
‘In 2007…2.1 million [1.9 – 2.4 million] people died of AIDS.’
Source: 2007 AIDS epidemic update, UNAIDS
Yours in Christ,
Regine and MC team
This email is also available in French and Spanish. Please contact Regine if you, or someone you know, would like to receive one of these versions (Regine.Nagel@micahchallenge.org).