The International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began on January 18, with the feast of The Confession of St. Peter and ends on January 25, the feast of The Conversion of St. Paul! For more than 100 years, Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity. By annually observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU), Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one."The theme for the 2018 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, "Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power," is taken from the book of Exodus 15:6.
Throughout the Biblical narrative of salvation, an unmistakable motif is the unrelenting determination of the Lord to form a people whom He could call His own. The formation of such a people, united in a sacred covenant with God, is integral to the Lord's plan of salvation and to the glorification of His name. The prophets repeatedly remind Israel that their covenant demanded that relationships among its various social groups should be characterized by justice, compassion and mercy. Reconciliation often demands repentance, reparation and healing of memories.
As Jesus prepared to seal the new covenant in His own blood, His earnest prayer to the Father was that those given to Him by the Father would be one, just as He and the Father were one. When Christians discover their unity in Jesus, they participate in Christ's glorification in the presence of the Father, with the same glory that He had lived in the Father's presence before the world existed. Therefore, God's covenanted people must always strive to be a reconciled community that serves as an effective sign of how to live in justice and peace for all the people of the earth.
Today, the Bible continues to be a source of consolation and liberation, inspiring Christians to address the conditions that currently undermine the Body of Christ. The Church, like Israel, is called to be a sign and an active agent of reconciliation.
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.