The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – 2012
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was held between 16 and 22 January and as has been the custom between the churches in Peterborough there will be ‘pulpit swaps’ to encourage understanding and to build on the great ecumenical work in our City. That’s all fine and good, but how can this affect us individually in our spiritual lives? In order to give the ‘Week’ some context we share here the theme that was set for this year and can still be used that daily prayer and reflection. (for more detail please access www.ctbi.org.uk/weekofprayer
We will all be changed
“We will all be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 15, 51-58
Change is at the heart of our Christian Faith. Saint Paul said that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, and we are called to live as children in the light.
The theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity came from the churches in Poland, who have reflected upon their own experience as a nation, and in particular how, as a nation, they have been changed and transformed by the many upheavals of their history, and sustained by their faith
The particular history of Poland gives rise to the worship material provided by the churches in Poland for our ‘Week’. The secular and ecclesiastical histories of Poland intertwine and the Polish writers remind us of ”the many times that Poland was invaded, the partitions, oppression by foreign powers and hostile systems”. The secular history has prompted a particular perspective for the issue of church unity. “As we pray for and strive towards the full visible unity of the church we – and the traditions to which we belong – will be changed, transformed and conformed to the likeness of Christ”. The – often heart breaking – history of the Polish nation makes such a perspective all the more inspiring.
What does this mean for us?
When we pray for the unity of the church we are praying that the churches that we know and which are so familiar to us will change as they conform more closely with Christ. This is an exciting vision, but also a challenging one. Furthermore, when we pray for this transforming unity we are also praying for change in our individual spiritual lives which will lead to change in the world outside ourselves.