This Easter we have prepared a short series of reflections with a couple of our missionary partners. We hope they serve as a helpful reflection and that you will experience God’s peace and joy afresh during this Easter season.
Friday 2nd: Good Friday: a message from Simon and Ruth Potinu in Papua New Guinea
“My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36)
When Pilate arrested Jesus, he asked, “are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate saw the world through a political lens, but Jesus responded that His kingdom was in an entirely different realm. He came not to establish a temporary, earthly kingdom but to usher in an eternal one, completely different in nature and unique in its goodness. Jesus’ words on the cross reflect this: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34). Often in life we may see that those looking with earthly eyes do not understand. Why give up your comforts? Why reach out and touch those that society has labelled untouchable? Why invest in the least—where is the return on the investment? But, like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we are called to invest in a heavenly kingdom where the broken, lowly and mistreated rejoice and all wrongs are made right.
Prayer: Please pray for us as we work to serve widows and the fatherless, orphans, the elderly, young adults and the wider body of Christ through teaching and preaching ministry in Papua New Guinea. Pray for us to have wisdom in how to best walk alongside, encourage and support this community of people who have such a special place in the heart of God.
Saturday 3rd: Easter Saturday: a message from our partner, For-Ethiopia
“ But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment” Luke 23 v 56b
Saturday is the day when the bible says nothing except they rested as it was the Sabbath. In the midst of a crisis, rest is often the last thing on our mind. The compulsion is to do something, anything. Yet while they rested, Jesus was working, paving the path that would allow us access to God. When He rose the next day the world would be forever changed and so would our relationship with the Father—we can now approach His throne and rest in His presence. Rest is a skill, it is not always intuitive. Take some time to rest in the presence of God today.
Prayer: Please pray for peace in Ethiopia, for compassion from aid donor countries who are threatening to remove aid, and for our work in the Ejere region of Ethiopia. Rural communities have been economically devastated by the pandemic, opportunities for school leavers are few. Pray that the young people will not lose hope as the Covid pandemic has escalated with the arrival of the South African variant.
Sunday 4th: Easter Sunday: a message from Müllers
“They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.” John 20:13-14
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the culmination of the Easter story, is such a rich and densely textured account that speaks so much into our lives. In these verses, we see that Mary’s confusion and bewilderment at all that has happened—the betrayal of Jesus, the desertion of Jesus by his disciples, the death of Jesus, in whom she and others had placed so much hope, the empty tomb and all her wonderings about who had taken His body, and to where—is not proof of the absence of God’s faithful presence in her life. That presence is unrecognised by Mary (until a few verses later when Jesus speaks her name), but is nevertheless there. Mary was not alone, abandoned by God to the confusion of her circumstances, and neither are we. That is one strand of what the Easter story reminds us.
Prayer: Living Lord, we thank you for your constant and faithful presence with us, even when we are confused by our lives, by our circumstances and by the state of this world. Please strengthen our faith that we might remember that You neither leave us nor forsake us, and in times of darkness may we reach out for Your guiding and comforting hand with confidence and well-placed trust. In Jesus’ name. Amen.