Daily Devotion for Saturday 8th June 2024

Saturday, 8 June 2024
Reading Micah 6:8

What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Reflection

This verse, printed on my URC membership card, has always been a powerful reminder to me of our calling as Christians.  However, it is in my journey with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM) that began in 1997 when I was the URC’s Secretary for International Relations, that I really got to understand what a lived expression of it looks like.  

Myanmar has been ruled by a military dictatorship since 1962, with only fleeting moments of limited democracy. The military junta has never been willing to fully relinquish its hold on power, which is why it acted so brazenly in 2020 ending the power sharing arrangement with Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD). Even that does not describe the trials and tribulations of the people of Myanmar.  Their experience of the Junta has not just been Orwellian, but arbitrary and capricious, such that I would describe my visits to Myanmar as entering a hall of mirrors, where you think you are understanding what you see until a slight movement alters everything.  

Thus I have journeyed with the PCM through many crises with this latest crisis, exacerbated by the Covid pandemic and the country’s descent into civil war, being by far the worst.  Yet, as ever, the PCM is there for the people, taking each blow in its stride, standing with the people in their struggles and being the embodiment of compassion, receiving internally displaced peoples into its properties and members’ homes.  More than that, at this time and seeing the need, it is working to expand its medical services through the relocation and expansion of its Agape Hospital.  This visionary church that quietly makes its transformative presence felt, journeying with the peoples of Myanmar through thick and thin continues to be a profound inspiration for me and my ministry.

Prayer

Spirit of life, 
so manifest in the life and witness 
of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, 
we pray that you will continue to empower and strengthen them 
to be present for the peoples of Myanmar. 
May they know that they are not alone in this, 
as we walk with them, companions all the way, 
working and praying together for the fulfilment 
of Jesus’s promise of fullness of life for all peoples. Amen.

Today’s writer

The Revd Philip Woods is a URC Minister serving as Associate Director, Global Strategy and Program, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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