The Australian Church celebrates the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from 16 to 23 May. The National Council of Churches in Australia has provided the following reflections to use throughout the week.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 was prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp. The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the church and the human family.
Day 1: Called by God – “You did not choose me but I chose you” (Jn 15:16a)
Genesis 12:1-4 The call of Abraham
John 1:35-51 The call of the first disciples
The start of the journey is an encounter between a human being and God, between the created and the Creator, between time and eternity.
Abraham heard the call: “Go to the land I will show you”. Like Abraham, we are called to leave that which is familiar and go to the place that God has prepared in the depths of our hearts. Along the way, we become more and more ourselves, the people God has wanted us to be from the beginning. And by following the call that is addressed to us, we become a blessing for our loved ones, our neighbours, and the world.
The love of God seeks us. God became human in Jesus, in whom we encounter the gaze of God. In our lives, as in the Gospel of John, God’s call is heard in different ways. Touched by his love, we set out. In this encounter, we walk a path of transformation – the bright beginning of a relationship of love that is always started anew.
One day you understood that, without your being aware of it, a ‘yes’ had already been inscribed in your innermost depths. And so you chose to go forward in the footsteps of Christ….
In silence in the presence of Christ, you heard him say, “Come, follow me; I will give you a place to rest your heart.” – The Sources of Taizé (2000) p. 52
Jesus Christ, you seek us, you wish to offer us your friendship and lead us to a life that is ever more complete.
Grant us the confidence to answer your call so that we may be transformed and become witnesses of your tenderness for the world.
These resources are based on the international material for the 2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity produced by the World Council of Churches. They have been adapted for use in Australia by the Faith and Unity Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia.
With thanks to the National Council of Churches in Australia.