Sunday, March 24, 2013

Imagine No Malaria-Lenten Devotion Day 40: March 24

Sunday, March 24, 2013: Spontaneous Joy 

Psalm 118:23-24 “This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” 

What a place of blessing to realize that you are an eyewitness to the amazing hand of God at work. I knew this for sure, as I stood in the town center of Kamina in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A small delegation of United Methodist both clergy and lay from the United States were gathered with what seemed like an endless throng of local Congolese people to celebrate life–saving work. Insecticide-treated bed nets were being distributed to help in the fight against malaria. The throng who gathered knew that this meant life and it was marvelous in their eyes. 

To add to the celebration, musical icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka, dubbed the princess of Africa, was there to encourage the people to use the nets as a way to literally save lives. I can still hear her as she called to the children, saying, “Come to Mama Africa!” It seemed as though thunder clapped as the children stormed the stage where we sat. A dust cloud rose as the children ran forward. There was celebration, dancing and spontaneous eruptions of joy. 

I wonder if this is what the crowd was like on the very first Palm Sunday. The words of the ancient text come to mind now. “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Surely, it was marvelous in their eyes! Today is a day for us to remember what God has done through Jesus Christ in our lives. We are privileged to participate in the life-saving ministry of Imagine No Malaria and it is marvelous in our eyes. 

Prayer: God we thank you! God we bless you! God we cry hallelujah! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! What joy you give us as eyewitnesses to your grace and mercy. May we forever be mindful of the gift of the savior Jesus and the ways that you empower us also for life-saving ministry. AMEN! 

Rev. Gary Henderson, Tennessee 
Executive Director, Global Health Initiative of The United Methodist Church 

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