A Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 2016; created by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
Reflections from the editors of an ecumenical journal, Kas Mus Vieno? (What Unites Us?), founded in 2005 as a response to disunity.
Christian disunity hurts. Churches suffer from their inability to be united as one family at the Lord’s Table. They suffer from rivalry and from histories of combativeness. When Joseph shares his dream with his brothers they react with anger and violence as the dream implies they must bow down before him. In Egypt, when they ultimately do bow before him, they experience reconciliation and grace rather than the abasement and dishonor they feared.
Jesus, like Joseph’s story, unfolds a vision of unity to us. But like Joseph’s brothers, we are fearful of the vision when it implies we submit to the will of another. We fear what we might lose. But the vision is about gain: regaining our once separated brothers and sisters.
A dream of abasement this,
turned into a tale
with suffering brothers
in a moment of grace,
foreshadowing the dream:
“that they may become
estranged brothers and sisters
in prayer and mission.
This, you know, must be right.
and there is even
in your debatable doctrines
nothing that speaks
of a schism in Heaven.
Jesus, our suffering Lord,
our disunity as churches compounds your suffering
and causes pain to those who long
for your dream of unity to become reality.
Forgive us our part in continuing division;
grant us humility to hear your voice
ever urging reconciliation.
Inspire us to work tirelessly to be one
so that the world may believe in your name.