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Lenten Devotional: Mar. 12

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Today’s Texts: Genesis 47:1-26, Mark 6:47-56, I Corinthians 9:16-27

It is striking to identify a common, yet different theme – “slavery/servanthood” in the Genesis and I Corinthians passage for today’s reading.  Both the Israelites and Paul identified themselves as “slaves/servants” – the former as slaves of Pharaoh for the sake of receiving food for survival, the latter as a servant of Jesus for the sake of bringing others to Christ.  The Israelites, though voluntarily offered their lives as Pharaoh’s servants, were being forced into involuntary circumstances which drove them to turn to Egypt for help.  Paul, enjoying his freedom in Christ and voluntarily offered his life as the servant of God, was compelled by the love of God to become all things to all people so that they may be saved.

As immigrants, some being forced to leave our country to seek a better place for survival while others voluntarily choose to migrate to pursue life dreams. We “follow the crowd” to seek a better life feel in a foreign land but are scared when the boat is drifting. We seek freedom yet often we feel as if we are  enslaved.  As a historian, as I reflected upon the experience of myself or the people of God, I often ask the question, “Where do I see the hand of God in all these?”  I see many Asian immigrants came to Christ when their boat was drifting in their experience of “exile.”  I see many Asian Christian immigrants striving to excel in their professions and make a strong impact in their workplace.  I see many Asian Immigrant congregations raising the awareness for missions and sending resources and personnel to reach the lost in their homeland.  I see many second generation Asian Christians rising up to bear witness to the larger society.  May we see the mission and purpose God has placed in our lives and treasure our identity as God’s servants to reach the world around us.

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Joyce ChanDr. Joyce Chan is Associate Professor of Church History & Multi-Cultural Studies and the Director of the North American Chinese Ministries Program at Carey Theological College in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Joyce received her M.Div. at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and completed her PhD. in Church History at Baylor University, Waco, Texas. Her primary teaching areas include History of Christianity, Baptist History & Theology, Christianity and Culture, Cross-cultural Ministry & Communication and World Religions.

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