The World Day of Prayer 2020 host country is Zimbabwe and the theme is “Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk”.
The country of Zimbabwe has been in the news recently. The newly elected president has been sworn in after a tense and disputed election. Churches and ecumenical organizations are actively promoting peace education and civic awareness to engage the communities in peaceful participation. Prayer vigils, election monitoring and dialogues between civil society and the government were organized to have political transparency, and to promote healing in a country that searches for peace and reconciliation.
This historical moment may express one of the contexts for the Zimbabwe theme. The WDP 2020 program is based on Jesus’ encounter with a person who, although positioned for healing, had not acted upon the opportunities given (John 5:2-9a). Jesus asked –“Do you want to be made well?” You are faced with this life-changing question. What are you going to do? Use this opportunity to reflect with your WDP group, community and ecumenical partners. Prayer and action are what links us together around the globe.
“Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk,” said Jesus. Our sisters from Zimbabwe are taking Jesus’ encounter to be a call to act in love for peace and reconciliation. “The action verbs suggest that we should not be afraid to act on the word of God. God is offering us the steps for personal and social transformation.” This is the time for change!
We are empowered to take up our mats. No more waiting powerlessly on the mat. As expressed in the WDP 2020 painting by Nonhlanhla Mathe, let us give a healing hand to the needy, let us embrace children with love as their future is ahead, and let us open our arms in joy as the time to rise up has come. This is the time for change!
May we hear the words of this compassionate God and the Prince of Peace to act upon the healing of ourselves and our communities to bring peace and reconciliation into the world.