Service for Christian Unity,
Thursday, May, 20th, 2021
During Eastertide we are following several modern spiritual authors from the reformed tradition.
The Holy Spirit draws us together
Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church
Unity is not uniformity. Most people understand unity as a struggle for uniformity. True unity demands diversity. Diversity is required for unity as defined by the Bible. Unity is not about tolerating diversity but about celebrating it. That is what makes it so beautiful. Unity is not something we can create. Most human efforts for unity, noble though they may be, are no more than experiments in agreement and/or understanding. That’s not bad but actually is insufficient.
In the letter to the Ephesians (4.2-3) it is said: “in all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
It is all about preserving unity. We cannot create it, unity already exists, all we can do is maintain it. How does that happen? It is the unity of the Spirit. True Biblical unity can be seen everywhere that the Holy Spirit is exercising his influence.
Pastor Bill Johnson – Bethel Church, 31 May 2020
Prepared by our brothers and sisters at the Charterhouse, Saragossa
To adapt according to the place of worship
1/ Pope Francis sent a message on Saturday May 15th to the meeting organised by the Charismatic Council of Italy which gathers catholics and pentecostals; he underlined the importance of “Brotherhood in Christ” and of the road being run by Christians of two different confessions.
Lord, may your Holy Spirit cause ongoing mutual fears to fall to the ground and allow us to witness together to this possible way of reconciled diversity.
2/ CHARIS was established two years ago as a channel of communion in the Catholic Church between all the charismatic entities in the world in order to spread this grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit together, to work for the unity of Christians and to be in service to the poor.
Lord, we particularly entrust to you the Ecumenical Vigil of Pentecost. May your Holy Spirit embrace the whole world with the fire of your love and enable us to build your Body together.
3/ Violent military attacks have been taking place in the last few days between the Gaza Strip and Israel and these risk degenerating in a spiral of death and destruction.
We pray, Lord, that Israelis and Palestinians can find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, so as to be patient builders of peace and justice, step by step becoming open to a common hope and coexistence as brothers.
4/ Last week we celebrated the Risen Christ with the leaders and members of the different Christian churches of Saragossa experiencing a contemplative journey based on the resurrection texts: “Via Lucis”. (way of light)
We thank you, Lord, for this shared prayer and the grace of fraternity. May the Holy Spirit turn us into daring witnesses to the Risen Christ and show us how to live out this grace of unity more and more.