Lord, bless all who will go to worship today burdened by trouble, anxiety, weariness, conflict, doubt, timidity, fear or resentment. May the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit fill them with healing and inspiration. May they find new courage and hope from worship today. I ask it in Christ’s name – AMEN.
I pray today Lord for the work of the United Nations. Guide them as they seek to bring peace and order throughout the world. Bless the Secretary-General in all the difficult situations he has to attend to. Give him courage, wisdom, sensitivity and perseverance. Help him to bring peace and calm where there is trouble. I ask it in Christ’s name – AMEN.
Lord, I pray today for those people involved in counter-terrorist activities. Give them patience and insight into the minds of those they are tracking down. Give them a sense of the crucial importance of what they are doing and help them to protect their countries from this evil. End the scourge of terrorism. I ask it in Christ’s name – AMEN.
“And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.”
Mark 9:45 NIV
We live in a world and a society far removed from the world of the New Testament. Our world is fast, scientific, crooked, corrupt, and a jungle of competing forces. It is also deceptive, full of lies, half-truths, exploitation and of greed. The arrival of the internet, social media and technology has made the world smaller. And in many ways it is more dangerous. The trafficking of people, the migration of millions and the power of capital make a heady mix. And there is poverty, inequality, and disease. There is a clash of competing ideologies. It is hard to say which is the most difficult of the problems, threats, and dangers.
If, in the ancient world God imposed rigid laws for people to obey and strange methods of dealing with guilt, the call by Jesus to take sin seriously must not be dismissed lightly by us. Evil is more complex, right and wrong are not as clearly defined, issues are more interrelated on a global scale that sometimes defies our understanding today. “The sharpness of (Jesus’) strictures concerning sin must not be minimized. We have constantly to be making judgments about right and wrong, since the world’s standards are so different from ours. Some of the self-denial involved will not be easy. The fundamental question is which life and which location we prefer (D. English, The Message of Mark, p172). Where do we, as Christian disciples, regard ourselves in, for example, the international migration problem, the trafficking of people, and the resolution of the problem of poverty? Is our sin itself part of the problem?
Lord, keep me ever conscious of the danger of sin.
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