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 8: Reconciling with all of creation –
“So that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:11)
Colossians 1:15-20 In him all things hold together
Mark 4:30-32 As small as a mustard seed
The hymn to Christ in the epistle to the Colossians invites us to sing the praise of God’s salvation, which encompasses the entire universe. Through the crucified and risen Christ, a path of reconciliation has been opened up; creation, too, is destined for a future of life and peace.
With the eyes of faith, we see that the Kingdom of God is a reality that is very close but still very small, hardly visible – like a mustard seed. However, it is growing. Even in the distress of our world, the Spirit of the Risen One is at work. He encourages us to become involved – with all people of goodwill – in tirelessly seeking justice and peace, and ensuring the earth is once again a home for all creatures.
We participate in the work of the Spirit so that creation in all its fullness may continue to praise God. When nature suffers, when human beings are crushed, the Spirit of the risen Christ – far from allowing us to lose heart – invites us to become part of his work of healing.
The newness of life that Christ brings, however hidden, is a light of hope for many. It is a wellspring of reconciliation for the whole of creation and contains a joy that comes from beyond ourselves: “so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:11).
Do you wish to celebrate the newness of life that Christ gives through the Holy Spirit, and let it live in you, among us, in the church, in the world and in all of creation? – Second promise made during profession at the Community of Grandchamp
Thrice-holy God, we thank you for having created us and loved us. We thank you for your presence in us and in creation. May we learn to look upon the world as you look upon it, with love. In the hope of this vision, may we be able to work for a world where justice and peace flourish, for the glory of your name.
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.