Daily Topic for March 09, 2008
These words of Jesus spoke of a foundational Old Testament model of His own ministry, but His words infuriated those in Nazareth’s synagogue. Why? Jesus was revealing that His mission was to the Gentiles as well as to the people of Israel, and the Jews in the synagogue could not stand to hear of such impartiality. “How terribly selfish,” we might say to ourselves. But isn’t this something we very subtly do when we think and act as if following Jesus will take us no further than our church, our people, our country? Will we confess our narrowness and follow Jesus in His mission?
Yes, Lord, we will! Forgive us for the selfishness which too often robs others of the gift of life.
The children sit on the floor at the feet of great-uncle Alexei. Their wide eyes glow in the dying firelight. Adult heads droop as great-uncle Alexei spins his tales about the good old days. “Why, we could go wherever we wanted at any time. We followed the signs of nature and found the best hunting and camping sites. When it was time to go, we packed everything up, and set off for a brand new adventure.”
Uncle Alexei speaks of the days when his people, the Ewenkis, lived as nomads, hunting and fishing the abundant wildlife of central Siberia. Today the Ewenkis live in villages in the area south of the Dolgans, whom we prayed for yesterday. They trade in meat and deer antlers, and many of their utensils are made of birch bark and antlers. The settled lifestyle enables the children to attend school.
There are no known believers among the Ewenkis. Most believe in Shamanism. About 100 years ago, Russian Orthodox missionaries attempted to convert the Ewenki people to Christianity, but had little success. Many families moved to northern China to evade the missionaries.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for today’s missionaries to approach the Ewenkis with gentleness and respect, bringing the gospel of Jesus.-JWS