Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Wednesday 25th January 7.30pm
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from the 18th to 25th January each year, when many churchgoers worship with others in denominations other than their own. This year, the congregations of Tisbury’s Methodist, Roman Catholic and Anglican churches will come together for a united service in St John’s Parish Church on Wednesday 25th January at 7.30pm. The theme is Crossing Barriers and is conducted by the Vicar, the Revd Andrew Staley. Christian Unity poster 2017.
The material for 2017 was prepared for worldwide use by the churches in Germany. There are fifty million Christians in Germany who, traditionally, have mostly belonged to the Roman Catholic Church or one of the Protestant State Churches. Recent developments, particularly the reception of refugees and asylum seekers, have begun to change this balance and other Christian traditions are finding expression. Whilst that which unites the churches is stronger than that which divides, there are still areas of difference in which the churches remain self-absorbed or construct new walls.
For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view, even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
This text from 2 Corinthians announces that God has, in Christ, reconciled the world to himself. The love of Christ compels us to be ambassadors of this reconciliation, which is enacted by dismantling the walls. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany experienced how a seemingly insurmountable wall could be brought down. The fall of this wall is a symbol of hope that, with the love of God, nothing is impossible.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is organised by Churches Together in England & Ireland.