The Supremacy of Christ

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the first born from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Colossians 1:15-23)

Jesus is the image of God: (The exact manifestation of God.) When we look at the life of Jesus, how he lived and engaged in the world around him, his sacrificial love, expressed in word and deed, we see God’s heart and character in action. We in turn are called to reflect this character to all around us.
Everything was created for and by Jesus: Jesus is Lord of everyone and everything. The Kingdom of God has become a present reality in history, in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the Head of the body, the church: The Lordship of Jesus is the foundation of both the life and the mission of the church. The authority ascribed to Jesus here in Colossians and in Matthew 28:18 (“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me”) precedes the command given to us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus had commanded.” (Matthew 28:19-20). It is because Jesus has all authority and is Lord of all that we have a message to proclaim with authority.

Reconcile all things to God through Jesus: The good news of the Gospel is not only about a personal / individual salvation, it is about a reconciliation of all things to God.  For an individual, the process of transformation starts as we yield our lives over to God to recreate in us the image of Jesus, and continues throughout our lives. What distinguishes us and separates us out is not our legalistic adherence to religious rules but rather our lifestyle which should reflect the love and justice of the Kingdom of God – in other words as we mirror and manifest Christ to all around us. We need to reflect God’s purpose to transform human life in all it dimensions. This means living out our distinct Jesus likeness in all areas of our life: public, personal, social, spiritual and material. In so doing we become a magnet and a light to those around us.

Supremacy of Christ: Jesus is the head of the body – it is he that has all authority in heaven and earth. It is Jesus who has supremacy, not the church! This is an important reality. If we put our hope in the church we will be hurt, disillusioned and disappointed as we the church are often in a broken and prideful state. We need to put our hope and vision in Jesus, and stand in awe that he has chosen us, the church, as broken as we are, to be his bride, knowing that he will complete the work he has begun in us and present us spotless before the throne.

Reflection: as we have spent time this Easter considering all that Christ has done for us, let us not lose heart, but take courage and continue to run the race set before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus.

If you are like me and at times feel discouraged by the power plays in the church, the broken relationships, the judgemental attitudes, the resistance to change; take heart and focus on Jesus who is Lord of everyone and everything. This is not a time to opt out – this is a time to stand before God and seek his mercy and intervention to transform our lives so that we may be brought to complete unity to let the world know the good news in Jesus Christ – the astounding news that God loves us!.

Let us today reflect this in all we are, all we say and in all we do. Amen.

Theme Focus: Conflict

• a serious disagreement or argument
• incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, goals or interests

Not all conflict is negative. Sometimes as we work in areas of injustice, conflict may need to intensify to the point where the issue is more widely recognised and effective action can begin to take place.

North Korea: the increasing provocation and escalation of potential conflict is being played out between North Korea, the USA and surrounding nations.

Power: this is the usual ingredient in most conflicts. The search for more power, the fear of losing power, the need to prove it.

Let us pray for:

Kim Jong-un, the new leader of North Korea (since April 2012). Lord we pray that you would reveal yourself to this man and transform his ways that he may become a man of peace and a leader of freedom.

South Korea leaders. Lord, please grant the leaders of South Korea the wisdom and temperance needed to respond to this heightened security. Thank you for the growth of your church in this nation – Lord raise them up now to speak and intercede into this situation. May they be reconcilers.

Culture and Identity: this often determines how we think and act and people will strive to maintain what they know. For the 24.4 million people in North Korea who have been oppressed and repressed into a way of life forced on them, this is a time of fear of the unknown, fear of the known and a struggle for survival. Let us pray:

That God would pour out is Spirit on North Korea opening eyes and hearts to the truth of the situation. Pray that propaganda and lies would be exposed and that truth would become clear and known.

That the Good news of Jesus would be made known throughout this land and that the new culture and values of the Kingdom of God would become the new identity.

Global Arms Trade Treaty
United Nations members have overwhelmingly adopted the first ever treaty to regulate the global trade in conventional arms, covering a range of weapons from tanks to rifles. Let us take time to thank God for this courageous treaty and pray that the adoption and adherence to it is now followed up.

Member Focus: Latin America, Brazil

Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world and makes half of the land surface of South America, with a population of 201 million people. It gained independence from three centuries of Portuguese rule in 1822, establishing a monarchical ruled Kingdom until 1889 when it became a federal republic.  A strongly authoritarian military rule between 1964 and 1985 further exacerbated the divide between rich and poor, leaving a legacy of social inequality.

Leadership:  A federal Republic (26 states and 1 federal district)

President and Head of Government: Dilma Rousseff elected on 1st January 2011. Next election is in October 2014. Dilma grew up through the years of military oppression and experience hardship. As the first female President in Brazil Dilma states “any public policy is only worthwhile if you change people's lives”.

Multi-party democracy restored in 1985 and the current government has taken action in trying to reduce poverty and improve governing policies, including tackling corruption.

Economic: Brazil is rising to be an emerging economic power in our world, drawing on its vast natural resources and huge labour force. The main industries are agricultural, mining and services. However, 24.4% of Brazil’s population are still living below the poverty line.

Social: Brazil has a population of 201 million made up of diverse ethnic groups (50% white, 38% mixed, 6% black, and 5% made up Asia, Arab and 1% Amerindian (indigenous tribal groups). 87% of the population now live in cities. Officially there is said to ne gender equality but bias to male domination persists.  Some improvement in gender based violence has been made.

Faith: There is freedom of religion. 72% of the population are Catholic and there is a rapidly increasing evangelical growth with a flourishing missionary mind set.

Micah Network Members: There are 11 members in Brazil
1. Acao Evangélica ( )
2. Alento Instititute for Humanitarian Action
3. Casa de Assistência Filadélfia (
4. CIEE (IFES Latin America) (
5. Diaconia (
6. Editora Ultimato (
8. Igreja Batista Metropolitana (
9. Lar Betel - ASEB
10. Oasis Brasil Association
11. Vision Mundia (

Prayer Focus:

Government: thank God for the reforms  and leadership that has helped strengthen Brazil. Pray for the President and her government as they face the up and coming challenges on the world stage. Particularly pray for their wisdom and action in reducing poverty and dealing with corruption. Pray for the judicial system to be strengthened as crime remains at a high rate.

Economy: Brazil faces the challenge of stewardship of their resources versus exploitation and destruction of vital ecosystems. Let us pray for the protection of creation and the recognition of the need to create jobs (10% unemployment)

Integral Mission: two important networks in Brazil who promote integral mission are RENAS and Red del Camino. Let us pray for their impact as they share with local churches, missions and aid organisations in Brazil. Ruth Alvarado (Micah Network’s Latin American Coordinator) has just been visiting Brazil and taking part in a RENAS event. Pray that Micah Network can further support an integrated missional approach in Brazil.

Prayer Points in Brief

Micah Network Cambodia: Chandara Ket (National Coordinator) asks us to pray with them for:
- Provincial consultations on Integral Mission being held on 8th April 2013 in Pursath province and 2nd May 2013 in Battambang province
- National consultation to be held from 23rd to 24th October 2013 in Phnom Penh
- Provincial pray meeting to be held on  25th April in Pray Veng province
Please you pray for pastors and Christian's NGOs leaders in each region to attend in these meetings.

Micah Network Francophone Consultation entitled: Integral Mission and the Community: partnering for transformation, being held in Côte d’Ivoire from the 29th July to the 2nd August 2013. Pray for the preparation and support for this important meeting.

Disaster Management Consultation to be held in the Philippines from the 16th to 20th September 2013 in partnership with PCEC, Wheaton College, Integral Alliance, WEA and Micah Network. Pray for the preparation and support of this meeting. Particularly pray for PCEC as they host this consultation.

Sundar Daniel, our former Asia Regional Coordinator as he continues to seek out the next steps for him and his family. Please pray that the right job will be made known to him.

See HIV Prayer Guide for April