This prayer is offered for use during the week of prayer for Christian unity (18-25 January).
God our Father, it is your purpose to bring your whole creation into full unity in Christ. We commit ourselves to you. Help us to live for others even as your love includes all: to seek out from others the truth they have grasped; to trust each other as fellow – workers in the one community you have given us; to obey your call to make visible the unity of your Church. Come, Holy Spirit, help us. Amen.
At the start of a new year of work at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, respected German theologian Jürgen Moltmann led a day-long series of presentations and discussions as a guest of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on Wednesday, 13 January. He insisted that “the ecumenical movement is as much about renewal as it is about unity.” The nearer members of various churches come to Jesus Christ, he said, the nearer they come to each other.
Professor Moltmann noted that “The vision and hope of the ecumenical movement is not in the church, but in the kingdom of God. We must open ourselves up to the surprises of the future.” He believes that unity must be matched with renewal.
As we spend the week focussing especially on unity, we need to remember that it is not the same as uniformity – we are created to be different, as a composite representation of the image of God, like a mosaic. Professor Moltmann’s words may serve to remind and encourage us to respect and celebrate our differences, while seeking unity of purpose towards spiritual renewal in the world.
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