Jesus was born as power struggles tore nations and governments apart.
No matter how the leaders fight, these struggles affect the everyday person regardless of rank, socioeconomic status or position. Today, in the wider IM family, global servants and their ministry partners are working to meet human need in Hungary, Ukraine and Russia. Dr. Samson, a Kachin Baptist leader, has been detained in Myanmar, and churches like yours and mine are actively working to think of those less fortunate than ourselves—with little or no mind as to the causes of their plight.
For a first-century Jewish carpenter and his young fiancée, the struggles between Rome and their local government might have been in the background of Joseph and Mary’s minds. However, it was more likely that the untimely requirement of a population census and associated travel during the late stages of pregnancy were more pressing needs for their immediate attention.
This Advent, let me invite you to notice the long awaited hope that was present in so many of those in the Christmas story. Simeon, Elizabeth (John the Baptist), Anna, and the wise men from the East all knew what they were longing for. Their familiarity with the prophecies of release from oppression and the yearning in their hearts made the moment of hope awakened and fulfilled immediately recognizable!
My prayer for all the communities that IM’s global servants and partners serve is that God will grant us a moment to look up from the struggles and “most pressing needs” that tear us apart and embrace the hope and the promise that was offered us that day.
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
A light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
– Simeon in Luke 2:29-32
My prayer for you is that this moment of hope and peace will be yours as well. Thank you for being an essential part of God’s mission through IM.
Immanuel. God with us.
Rev. Sharon Koh