Monday, January 19, 2009
Week of Christian Unity
Yesterday marked the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2009. An annual occurrence, the week is set aside for Christians everywhere to pray that the divisions within the church will be healed. You can read more about it on the Vatican's site here.
The theme for this year's Week is Ezekiel 37:17:
"That they may become one in your hand"
This, of course, is a perfect choice for a theme of unity.
But given that this is the Pauline year, and I am knee deep in my study of Paul, this Week also causes me to reflect on the state of the church during his time. The Apostles were spreading the Word of Jesus to the Jewish people. Paul was spreading a similar message to the Gentiles. And all the little communities they had set up were tweaking things based on their beliefs. Talk about the need for unity!
Fast forward 2000 years later. We still have divisions among the Christian religion, albeit much more civilized and organized than in Paul's day. But the need for unity is still with us. Just like it was in Ezekiel's time, and just like it was in Paul's time.
Interestingly enough, last year's theme was from Paul (1 Thess 5)
"Pray without ceasing."
What good advice for us this week, and always.