Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Amen
Matthew 10:42, “ And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
Advent is a time to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. As I prepare this year, I think of all the missionary trips that I have gone on to bring God’s love and God’s word to the world. I have seen God’s love and God’s word make a difference in mission trips to the Philippines, Honduras, Nicaragua, Albania, Ethiopia and Israel. I have seen starving children fed. I have seen orphans who have been deserted and forgotten given a home, clothing and food. I have seen water and God’s word brought to Ethiopia.
This Advent season I am concerned about the people of Ethiopia. There is a famine in the horn of Africa, including Ethiopia. It is the worse catastrophe in the world at this time. People are dying by the thousands every day.
Our companion, Lutheran Church in Ethiopia is doing the best they can under the circumstances. Ethiopia is the only Christian nation in Africa. The Lutheran Church in Africa is the fastest growing Lutheran Church in the world. The problem is they have so little resources. Further, their success has brought attacks by the Muslims.
We have taken three trips to Ethiopia in the last three years. We have taken clothing, medicine, bibles and installed water pumps in Ethiopia. We are planning another trip in February 2012. The problem is that our current financial crisis makes it difficult for churches to donate to Ethiopia.
I have often at Christmas time, wondered why we have so much and others have so little. Why has God created these people and abandoned them? Christ comes at Christmas to the world. However, how does God come to these people in such great need. The answer is God did not abandon them. He left His people and His church to care for them. As we prepare for His coming Advent season, I pray that we remember it is our duty and our commission to be sure that our brothers in Ethiopia also prepare and share the coming of our Lord.
Lord, I thank you for the time to prepare for your birth. I pray that all of your people prepare their hearts and minds for your coming. May we also remember our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. May we support them in this crisis and share God’s love as we prepare for Christmas. Amen.