Fifth Sunday in Lent
Jeremiah 31:31-34 & John 12:20-33
In many instances, Jeremiah is known as ‘the weeping prophet’; the anguish of Jeremiah conveys the anguish of God at the sin of the people of Judah and Israel. This book, among many things, shows us that God is deeply vested in creation and in the well-being of His people. It appears that during the time of prophet Jeremiah, people’s well-being was greatly neglected due to many social ills of the day as they broke the covenant. Similarly, today, many are breaking God’s law when pursuing meaningless idols of power, fame and wealth, while in the process the well-being of many people who are on the margins is violated.
Though such is the case, Jeremiah announces a new covenant to his people that will bring hope and freedom to the oppressed masses. The new covenant promised in Jeremiah 31 is fulfilled in Jesus Christ (John 12:32-33). With His blood through His death on the cross, Jesus establishes the new covenant where God’s law is written upon people’s hearts, and God shall be their God and they shall be God’s people. The new covenant emphasises an order that ensures emancipation in all areas of life, including financial and economic freedom. The influx of civil unrest and protests in our world seems to suggest that economic freedom is a far-fetched idea. Violence and looting cannot solve the social, political and economic problems, but maybe it is the only way of sending a message to the people in power. A sign that political and religious rulers are out of touch, evidenced by the implementation of bad economic policies of neglect that infringe on communities of the poor.
The church today ought to act as prophet Jeremiah to challenge and examine economic systems of today for modification where it is needed to benefit the communities of the poor and the marginalised. It is the mandate of the church to advocate for basic welfare rights, including the right to basic needs such as shelter, food, work opportunities, income security and all those aspects that promote the well-being of all people.
–Goodwin Zainga, Churches of Christ in Malawi (CCM)
We pray for the well-being of all creation, and we pray especially for pastors in the world as they offer pastoral care and counselling services to many people, in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCCS)
Samoa – Our people struggle with a lot of issues. Our political arena is becoming more authoritarian given the domination of the ruling HRPP party. CCCS is caught within all issues affecting members of the church. Please pray for Samoa and its upcoming election. May the Spirit of God lead people’s choices and votes.
Samoa National Council of Churches (FES) – Pray for FES to play its ecumenical roles for the member churches and the Samoa people. FES works in partnership with the government, yet may they speak up boldly against corruption. Please pray that the Spirit of our Lord leads and strengthens FES so it can proclaim the prophetic liberation voice/message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
World & COVID-19 – May God lead and equip the wisdom and knowledge of scientific researches and studies so a vaccine can be produced soon.