Christian Unity Week 2018
On Thursday this week, it was the start of Christian Unity Week. This is an annual event of eight days (an octave) of prayer in which believers of all Christian Denominations come together and share special services, days of prayer and ecumenical events which take place in their locality. They seek to pray together and grow together in love for each other and for the Lord. Jesus prayed that all believers would be one just as He was and is One with the Father and the Father with Him. The Holy Trinity is a Trinity of Love. God the Father is the Lover of all, Jesus is his Beloved Son and the Holy Spirit is the Love which flows from the Father and the Son in perfect union as the Godhead who love all people and desire for all people to love one another as the Lord has loved us.
On the night before He died, Jesus prayed a wonderful prayer for all believers which is still as relevant then as it is today in 2018. You can find this in John’s Gospel chapters 16 and 17. His gracious prayer begins like this:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” John 17:20,21
As we think about Christian Unity week, we also celebrate the wonderful fact that our school community here in St Bede’s is rich in diversity and is a special place where all are valued and respected regardless of individual faith and cultural backgrounds. As Christians, Muslims and Sikhs, we are united in the beauty of knowing each other and we learn so much from each other. We celebrate all that unites and shun all that divides.
Our prayer this week comes from St John XXIII (Pope), who did so much in the early 1960’s to build relations within the Church and the wider Christian and other religious communities.
Lord, renew in our own days your miracles like a second Pentecost. Grant that the church, re-united in prayer may extend the Kingdom of Jesus – a Kingdom of truth and justice, of love and peace. Amen.
May the Life of the Lord Jesus, and the Love of God the Father, and the Companionship of the Holy Spirit be with us all for evermore. Amen. (Based on 2 Cor 13:13)