February 3, 2013

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

The Horror of Violence

If one member suffers all suffer together. I Corinthians 12:26a

The situation in Syria worsens by the day. Humanitarian needs continue to escalate as the violence spreads and deepens. Ordinary civilians – men, women and children – are the primary victims of the violence. An ever growing number of people are displaced, many for the second or third time. Tens of thousands of internally displaced persons are staying temporarily in buildings that are unsuitable for the cold of winter. Loss of livelihoods, due to insecurity and market disruptions, negatively impact purchasing power and leave more people without access to the basic essentials of electricity, heating or fuel.

Since the onset of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, Global Ministries has supported the efforts of our partners across the region and is today actively involved in efforts to respond to the crisis and the growing number of displaced people. Emergency food packages, hygiene kits, bedding, and portable stoves have been distributed. Psychosocial support and health care is also being provided.  Warm clothing and activities for children are organized in the Za’atri refugee camp in Jordan. Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing and Week of Compassion are helping to supply these needs.

Oh God, today we pray for Syria and the Syrian people, even as they are scattered far and wide. In this land that was touched by the feet of our Lord, and where Paul was baptized and became the Apostle of nations, the cradle of prophets and religions, we acknowledge our link to the Christian legacy and historical churches there. We fervently pray for the Syrian Christian leadership and for the country’s leaders in this precarious time.  We seek to understand and respect others and pray that the Syrian nation may find a way to work together in order to achieve peace and stability in Syria. We hold the people of Syria in our prayers, asking for solace and comfort, security and the provision of basic needs. We faithfully pray, Amen.

O God of all the prophets, you knew us and chose is before you formed us in the womb.  Fill us with faith that speaks your word, hoe that does not disappoint, and love that bears all things for your sake, until the day when we shall know you fully, even as we are known by you.  Amen.

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