Daily Devotion for Wednesday 5th June 2024

Reading

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 ESV)

Reflection

Our world is currently filled with life-threatening forces. Driven by greed, self-centred motives, corruption and much more, life-threatening forces are trying to steal and destroy life and peace from the face of the earth. Consequently, we are witnessing numerous forms of destruction, including military conflicts, climate crises, and social, political and economic inequalities. These create divisions and destabilise communities in order to dominate and rule over the poor and oppressed – hope gives way to despair and cynicism.  

However, Christians are resurrection people. “If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching, empty too your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). Given our human mortality this is something that can never be underestimated. Yet the experience of resurrection hope pertains not only to death but also to life. Death and resurrection is a lived experience in Myanmar today. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:9-10). 

As we have seen, many Christians in Myanmar are subject to great adversity. Still, the joy and hope of the resurrection define their experience. “In all these things,” protested Paul, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). In the midst of the deepest darkness in Myanmar, there are people of faith, people of hope – the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM)!

The gospel of the reign of God challenges the world that keeps the status quo of the hopeless situation. Although, the PCM is small in number, it is taking courage to empower themselves and the people who are oppressed and suffering. The Church dares to witness God’s love, justice and peace in the society under the military junta. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)

Prayer

Ivy                        

At times, when we feel that
it is a wall, just a wall,
then
without a word, ivy climbs up the wall.
At times, when we say that
it is a wall of despair
with no drop of water, where not one seed can survive,
unhurrying, the ivy advances.
Hand in hand, several together,
it climbs on, a span’s breadth at least.
Until the despair is all covered in green
it grasps the despair and will not let go.
At times, when we lower our heads, saying that
the wall cannot be climbed,
one ivy leaf at the head of thousands of ivy leaves
finally climbs the wall.

by Do Jong-hwan (A Korean Poet)

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