Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve Prayers for Mercy

I am sitting in my comfortable, lovely home with plenty of warmth, food and milk for the kids in the fridge, plans to go to First Night celebrations throughout the city, and the lovely free time that comes when my beloved college students are away and we are enjoying the holidays. And as I think about the world and what is happening, my heart is so heavy. And I pray for mercy.

Heavy on my heart:

Child Soldiers in Uganda

It's not that I was totally ignorant of what was going on, but I have never before read in such detail how very evil and self-perpetuating these particular atrocities are. Please read this even though it will break your heart.

Far Reaching Ministries is one glimmer of hope in this region.

Also heavy on my heart, our lack of unity in the church universal:

Tell me why people pick and choose their favorite issues? If Jesus died for the whole world and if the bible clearly talks about transformation of individuals, households and entire communities as well as the judgement of the same, why do we view the bible through our individualized pet project lenses? I was reading this morning in Malachi about who is going to experience the judgement of God:

I will be a ready witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.
Malachi 3:5

Now the conservative among us may concentrate on sorcerers, adulterers and liars. The liberal among us may concentrate on economic justice, the oppressed and the aliens. And the prosperity gospelers jump ahead in the book to take the following verses out of context:

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not shrivel before they are ripe," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight," says the LORD Almighty.
Malachi 3:10-12

Why is it that the only time I have heard Malachi preached on it is about tithing? There is so much more here than that. And when I hear it preached about on television, it is not only about tithing but about investing your money with God, so that you can make a monetary profit. That's obscene.

But there is hope in the promised messiah who judges the wicked, and brings together a people of His own who are healed:

"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet," says the LORD Almighty.
Malachi 4:2,3

A Christmas Carol inspired by the pages of Malachi to bless you on your way:

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His Wings.
Now He lays His Glory by,
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the New-born king!"

Heal your world and your people, Prince of Peace. Your kingdom come, your will be done, Heavenly Father.

Micah Girl

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