01 Apr Seasons of Openness
Seasons of Openness
first a bit of
Since December, our journey has led us to see the Kairos moment in the Syrian chaos, and to understand the plight, the struggle and the destabilization of not only the Syrian people, but also of the entire region.
As we have prayed, our hearts are engaged. It is not an easy journey to watch as the number of displaced grows, and the situation worsens. With Easter, we remember that despite the outward signs of the conflict, we know the story is not over yet, for the grave is empty. God has not yet had the final word.
Can you imagine the confusion and bewilderment of the disciples to experience the reality of their Lord’s crucifixion, and then later of his burial? It was after they were convinced of His resurrection that His words began to make sense. Even after Mary and the other women shared that they found an empty tomb, the “words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.”
For some of the disciples it wasn’t until He appeared to them on the road to Emmaus, sat with them at a table, and broke bread that “their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.”
As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord this week, a question haunts me. “What might God have done if I had loved enough and thought further ahead enough to make sure that as we celebrate this week, all displaced Syrians had the opportunity to hear that God’s great love and Easter victory in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is for them too?” Lord, I’m so very sorry. Will you deeply change me?
Let’s make sure we continue to pray with ‘eyes opened’, recognizing Him — in His victorious resurrection power that overturns impossible situations to bring life out of death. God wants to do something powerful and life giving out of this chaos.
Significant leaders working among Syrians believe there is another year of openness. After that, these leaders fear many of the displaced and affected will fill their spiritual vacuums with other false world-views, as their “new- normal” lives solidify.
These are weighty and consequential issues, so we will cover more on this topic next week.
Luke 10: 2
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
• Lord, we are your people! We invite you unsettle us. When you shake up the world so dramatically, will you shake us in the same proportion, so that we are attentive to what you are doing? Open our hearts deeper and wider, just as you are opening the Syrian hearts.
• Jesus, while there is yet time and unprecedented openness in this region of the world, we ask you to ‘thrust out’ enough laborers to tell the story, reap and disciple the harvest, and start multiplying churches among them – that your Kingdom would come and your will be done. Thank you for opening their hearts.
• We seek you and ask you to make clear what role you desire us to play over the next 12 months, so that by next Easter displaced Syrians know you and celebrate the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Visit the ACT page to see the opportunities to be involved.
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