Over the past eight days the churches of Indonesia have helped us consider difficult situations facing the world. Many of these have raised questions of justice. The Church has been complicit in many instances of injustice and, through that complicity, we have damaged our unity and diminished the effectiveness of our witness to the world. Christians gather for common prayer, professing common faith and to listen for God’s voice. Although the many injustices wound us, we do not lose hope, but are called to action. The Lord is our light and salvation, the stronghold of our lives. We do not fear.
God, the bringer of good news, forgive our lust for power and free us from the temptation to oppress others. Instil in us the determination to see your good news made real in us and those around us, as we share in the mission of your Son Jesus to fulfil your promise of freedom from poverty and oppression. We pray in his name. Amen
God’s goodness has provided ample food and fresh water to sustain life for all and yet many people lack these necessities. Human greed frequently leads to corruption, injustice, poverty and hunger. Jesus teaches us not to be concerned about accumulating more material things than we need. We should, rather, be concerned with proclaiming the Kingdom of equity and announcing God’s reign of justice. Christians are called to live lives which enable the waters of justice to flow.
The Lord is gracious and merciful to all (Psalm 145:8)
God of all humanity your Son was born into a line of men and women, ordinary and extraordinary. Some of them were remembered for their great deeds, others more for their sins. Give us an open heart to share your unbounded love, and to embrace all who experience discrimination. Help us to grow in love beyond prejudice and injustice. Grant us the grace to respect the uniqueness of each person, so that in our diversity we may experience unity. This prayer we make in your holy name. Amen
Source: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Resources, Churches in Britain and Ireland
The letter to the Ephesians presents a call for Christians to be honest and accountable to each other, so that we may grow in community. There is no place for deceitfulness, for it serves only to impair our relationships and so destroy that community. We are called to live an authentic life of faith and stand up for the truth. Our ‘yes’ must mean ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ must mean ‘no’ – with no equivocal language or dishonest behaviour. Dishonesty disrupts the unity of the Church fror which we are called to pray and work.
Material for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity originates from the churches of Indonesia, where there is a strong emphasis upon the need for unity alongside the nation’s ethnic and religious diversity. The resources also highlight issues of economic injustice and how religious pluralism can face challenges in the face of radicalisation. The theme is based around Deuteronomy 16:18-20, ‘Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue…’
DAY 1 Amos 5:22-25Luke 11:37-44
Christians in Indonesia recognize that in their land there are people who passionately try to practise their faith, but who oppress those of other beliefs. In the prophecy of Amos, God rejects the worship of those who neglect justice. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus reminds us that the outward sign of true worship of God is acting justly. Christians can sometimes be very committed to prayer and worship, but less concerned for the poor and the marginalized. When, as Christians, we work together on justice issues we grow closer to one another and to God.
We will be joining Churches Together Sandhurst on Sunday January 20th 6:30pm at St George’s Owlsmoor to celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that happens between 18th and 25th January each year.
In addition, there are a number of opportunities to prayer together during the week, open to all: Thursday 17th 12-12:30 p.m. Post Coffee Shop Prayer for Christian Unity (NB arrive by 11:45 if you want coffee first!) at Crowthorne Baptist Church Monday 21st at 10.30 a.m. welcome tea/coffee followed by a meditation group at 11.00 a.m. at Holy Ghost RC Church Tuesday 22nd at 10.00 a.m. Worship at Crowthorne Methodist Church followed by CTC coffee morning. Tuesday 22nd 12-1.00 p.m. informal time for prayer at Crowthorne Methodist Church, Rev Sharon will be available during this time Friday 25th at 6.00 p.m. Prayer for the sick at St John’s Church
If anyone would like to meet up and pray with someone from your own or another church, please contact the secretary, Carla Lee McLachlan (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will co-ordinate prayer partners.