Weekly worship: Sunday 13 May
Witnessing God’s unconditional love.
Acts 1:15-17 and 21-26
1 John 5:9-13.
In the passage from Acts, the early church is eager to bring its leadership team up to full strength – and they wanted someone who had seen the risen lord to bear witness to his resurrection. A witness, after all, must be someone who has personally experienced the thing about which they bear witness.
So what does witnessing mean today?
Unlike Joseph and Matthias, we were not there at Jesus’ baptism or his resurrection. As disciples, how then do we bear witness? How do we tell people about the transforming work of God? How do we spread the message that Jesus came to bring good news, life in all its fullness, as we read in John 10:10 – a life full of justice and free from poverty?
The newly chosen disciple would, along with the 11 others, have special responsibilities. He would have a crucial role to play in growing the kingdom of God. Is God calling you to take on a special responsibility? Are you called to join with others in a shared ministry, to work as a team and to lighten the burden for others?
In John’s gospel, Jesus is worried about the challenges that his followers will face when he’s gone. They will need to take over, continue his ministry and lead the work to transform the world. They will now become witnesses. Jesus prays for the disciples saying: ‘I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.’
Why doesn’t Jesus pray for the world?
After all, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. Instead, Jesus prays for his disciples because he is entrusting them with his mission – and his mission is to the world. When we bear witness to the good news, we join Jesus’ mission, and we live out God’s declared love for the world, a love so strong that he even went to the Cross.
This Christian Aid Week, we witness the transforming power of love in Vilia’s life. This transformation was made possible by ordinary people like us who joined together to put their faith into action. They did what Jesus prayed for his followers to do.
This Christian Aid Week, kingdom-builders from all walks of life and Christian traditions come together to step out in mission for the world’s poorest people. From house to house collections, sponsored walks and church collections to Big Brekkies, abseils and quiz nights, we are united in our belief that the world can and must be changed. Together, we raise vital money to support our poorest brothers and sisters around the globe. We pray for justice as we witness at the heart of our communities.
Pointers for prayer
Gather the Christian Aid Week disciples of your church and say a commissioning prayer over them, just as Jesus prayed for his disciples. You’ll find a commissioning prayer in the prayer pack.
Download a prayer pack here
This Christian Aid Week, we pray for communities in Haiti facing displacement from their homes due to disasters.
Download prayers for Christian Aid Week here
Pray for all who are collecting door-to- door this week. Pray they would be encouraged and know the joy that Jesus prayed for his disciples. Pray for a meaningful partnership between Christian Aid Week and Thy Kingdom Come, the global ecumenical prayer initiative.