Daily Topic for June 12, 2008

Galatians 5:6
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

In this passage, Paul stresses that it is not our cultural heritage which makes us acceptable to God, but our heart response. We should praise God because we can worship and serve Him without having to use patterns of Hebrew ritual or the cultural forms of the first-century church! God takes special pains to say that each people is free to express worship to Him in patterns appropriate to its own culture. What a celebration we look forward to when those from every “people, tongue, tribe, and nation” will gather around the throne of Jesus Christ to sing His praises!

Thank the Lord that He accepts worship from every people group, including your own.

Silver Palaung People in Myanmar

“Would you care for some pickled tea salad?” asks the old woman. It’s the best tea available, right from Hoechaung village. It’s very tasty.” Her Canadian guest holds up thumb and forefinger about an inch apart, to indicate “just a little bit.”

The Palaung people of Shan State in Myanmar have a monopoly on pickled tea. It’s made from spring’s first tender green shoots of Zayan tea plants, steamed and fermented.

Myanmar’s Shan State is a series of mountain ranges with narrow valleys. The people there grow tea at the higher elevations. The people known as the Silver Palaung live at lower elevations and are traditionally farmers, growing more rice than tea. Their diet is predominantly vegetarian. Extended Silver Palaung families live together in oval-shaped bamboo houses up to 100 feet in length, perched upon six-foot stilts.

Most Silver Palaungs are Buddhists; however they still maintain many of their traditional beliefs and habits. They believe in evil spirits called nats; some are more evil than others. Life centers around appeasing the nats, who have control over nature, and thus determine the success or failure of the crops.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for teams of prayer warriors to begin breaking up the ground and softening the hearts of the Silver Palaungs. Ask God to protect and encourage the small number of believers among the Silver Palaung people. Pray that God will show Himself more powerful than the nats.-JWS

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