Lynley Capon reflects on the second theme of Prayer and Self-Denial 2020: ‘Mending the Mess’. Lynley and her husband, Peter, previously served with Tranzsend in South East Asia.

We can clearly see that the world is in a mess: economic inequalities through unemployment and poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, war, millions of displaced people, environmental degradation, devastating climatic events and so on. Should we be surprised at this situation? When Adam and Eve sinned, God told them the consequences would be toil and pain, heartache and distress, desire and oppression.

Every day, our Tranzsend workers in Asia are dealing with such issues plaguing the communities God has called them to live among. And we must remember that these field staff, like us, are human, needing God’s grace at work in their own lives. We are like cracked pots holding the treasure of Christ within us.

Our deep longing is to see the mess of this world fixed. The power to mend the mess lies with Jesus—his suffering, death and resurrection bring hope for the lost, healing for the broken-hearted and restoration of fractured relationships. 

Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). He has chosen our field workers to be instruments for change as they do his will within hurting communities. A song we sometimes sing says, “Touching heaven, changing earth.” May we in New Zealand pray daily for our workers, that they have time to regularly meet with Jesus, touching heaven as it were, so that they can be a force for changing earth. 

May we all, with our missionary staff, be the visible evidence of Christ’s transformative presence, meeting the lost, the neglected and the broken people, and so mending the mess.

Scripture: Unless otherwise specified, Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright ©1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.