Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133; 1 John 1:1-2:2; John 20:19-31
It is a joyous feeling to know the Lord. The life that we experience in Christ gives us a sense of peace and comfort. It is even more joyous when shared with others. Growing up, I experienced a lot of unfortunate circumstances and I felt joy whenever I attended church. The church was like a family or community where I sang praises, danced, enjoyed fellowship, listened to and shared God’s word. Even David sang expressively about how good it is to dwell in togetherness.
But we must admit that the church community is not always harmonious. Sometimes there are things that get in the way and cause disunity in our own Christian communities. And although it may not be our intention, we can make people feel left out. The Christian community is diverse and it is a divine calling that brings us all together as one. We are to share and we are to heal. We are to practice faith through our actions. We are to love and we are to have peace – just as Christ brought us peace. And by worshipping together we also draw nearer to Christ and are in fellowship with Him as well.
When the disciples gathered after Jesus’ death – He showed Himself to them. And Thomas who was not present did not believe once he was told about it. Later, when he was with the disciples in fellowship, Jesus appeared once again. Although Thomas doubted, he was not mocked by the disciples or disowned by Jesus. Instead Jesus showed Himself to Thomas in order for him to believe. When a fellow believer makes a mistake, we should not be quick to judge or ridicule. Instead we should encourage one another, in fellowship and unity. To truly experience flourishing life in Christ we should make sure that no one is left behind.
We should embrace our fellow believers with the love of Christ. And in doing so, we must also extend this same kind of love to our neighbours.
-Leila Parina, United Church of Papua New Guinea
We pray for an end to violence in families and homes, and we pray for the church to use its voice to speak out against injustice in communities. May the church be a centre of hope – a true representation of Christ during these trying times. Amen
Partner in Mission
Please pray for wisdom and strength from God to enable me to carry on working with Korean children in the UK during the 9-month lockdown. During lockdown I have been trying hard to focus the children’s attention on church. Children have so many changing interests and rather limited concentration – this applies particularly to online worship. I have tried every style of biblical activity so far and have been visiting their homes to maintain contact, in addition to arranging outdoor meetings. I am developing ways of presenting bible stories which catch the children’s interest. I provide a 40-50 minute biblical activity time using Zoom up to 7 times every Sunday: the content is the same, but the style varies according to the children. I know they are happy and concentrate well when they are focused and experience love. I have been delivering letters, sweets, and gifts to their homes every week. I know the importance of helping children to grow in faith, but this requires a lot of energy. Please pray for me to receive God’s creative wisdom, endless strength and confidence to continue with this work.
Secondly, I have a big dream and hope that I will be able to communicate with British children and adults in English very well so that I may send God’s loving message between Korea and the UK fluently. For this, I am studying English whenever I have a little spare time to achieve this vision. Please pray for me to improve my English and not be exhausted in the process.
Finally, I need encouragement to do this work as a single, young, ethnic minority female missionary. Sometimes, I feel discouraged by this. Please pray for me not to lose courage to do this God-pleasing work and bridge the ministry among people of different nationalities in the UK.
So Young Jung, CWM Partner in Mission (Europe)