A Minister’s Musings………On Christian Unity! (January 24/18)
Every year, for the past 100 years, Christians around the world have dedicated a week in January to prayer. The specific prayer is for Christian unity, praying that people of the Christian faith will follow the direction of Jesus as found in John 17:21 “that all will be one.”
This year, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was observed from January 17th to 24th. To focus our prayers on Christian unity is a laudable goal. After all, there has been almost more warring between the multitude of Christian splinter groups than between countries. Many wars, based on religious differences, have been waged over the centuries. This initiative, to pray for one another, only makes sense.
But there are still many Christian religious denominations that suffer from “triumphalism”, that is, those groups which insist that they provide the “right” road to God and the rest of us are bound for hell (or its equivalent). For those of us who don’t believe in a literal hell, that’s not so much of a worry! However, it is truly tragic that things like doctrine, belief and particular religious practices separate us. After all, that was not the intention of Jesus during his ministry. He was always and most often interested in bringing people together in community.
Here at Central, we truly value the power of prayer and of community. We gather often in community to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters. And we don’t differentiate who we pray for—we pray for all of God’s creation—because we know that all of it comes from God and is wondrously loved by God.
Perhaps in your prayer time this week you might pray for Christian unity so as to bring healing to the world. I think that is a good way to spend my time in the coming days!