This coronavirus pandemic has brought about lots of reflections. Pray that you and your family are well under the pandemic, and God continues to lead each of us to be the salt and light in this time of darkness.
Thank you so much for your generosity towards the needy over the years. I am writing to inform you that, after 4 years of service, I will be leaving CEDAR in mid-May. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the vulnerable around the world alongside you. As my calling is ministering to the impoverished, I believe our paths will cross in the future.
Collection of face masks, photo taken at CEDAR’s office
Not long prior to the crucifixion of Jesus, He taught a parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). It was about staying alert and preparing well for the return of the Lord. Just looking at this parable literally, I wonder why the five foolish virgins did not bring along a little more oil. Certainly, parable is a parable, the key is the main message and not the details.
In reality, waiting can be an almost endless thing. Taking the recent global spread of the novel coronavirus as an example, at the time of writing, it is still not clear when it is likely to come to an end. In the face of this situations, people can easily get stressful or even depressed as we do not see any light in the tunnel. In the story of ten virgins, they fell asleep due to long waiting times. Indeed, we could easily drift off if we just sit there and wait. Hence, how can we stay awake and enthusiastic?
Written by: Wance Kwan (Assistant Professor [Practical Studies], China Graduate School of Theology)
“If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:3-4)
If you are one of the few in your church who are involved in poverty alleviation work, you may be angry with the snobs in the scripture above. You might probably think that you would never be like them. However, have you ever thought that always putting the poor at the receiving end can also be considered as a form of discrimination? Such attitude of judging people by their outward appearances is being challenged in James 2:1 as favoritism.
[ePrayer – Pray for the intensifying environment threats]
A UN report said more than 40 countries have done better than previously expected on the UN’s human development index (HDI), which combines measures of health, wealth and education, with gains accelerating over the past decade. Yet the report warned that the number of people living in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3 billion by 2050 unless urgent action is taken to tackle environmental challenges. It said climate change is already exacerbating chronic environmental threats, and ecosystem losses are constraining livelihood opportunities, especially for poor people. Inaction on climate change, deforestation, and air and water pollution could end gains in the world’s poorest countries and communities. [Guardian]
Pray for the intensifying environment threats:
Pray for prompt actions taken by all nations to tackle environmental challenges;
Pray also for those especially the poor who are affected and suffer from environmental threats.