Day 7 Readings and Reflection by Rev. Rock Fremont, Senior Pastor, Shepherd of the Hills United Church of Christ, Phoenix, Arizona.
Growing in Unity: “I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5a)
- 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:21-23, Is Christ divided?
- John 17:20-23, As you and I are one
On the eve of his death, Jesus prayed for the unity of those the Father gave him: “that they may all be one… so that the world may believe.” Joined to him, as a branch is to the vine, we share the same sap that circulates among us and vitalizes us.
Each tradition seeks to lead us to the heart of our faith: communion with God, through Christ, in the Spirit. The more we live this communion, the more we are connected to other Christians and to all of humanity. Paul warns us against an attitude that had already threatened the unity of the first Christians: absolutizing one’s own tradition to the detriment of the unity of the body of Christ. Differences then become divisive instead of mutually enriching. Paul had a very broad vision: “All are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” (1 Corinthians 3:22-23)
Christ’s will commits us to a path of unity and reconciliation. It also commits us to unite our prayer to his: “that they may all be one… so that the world may believe.” (John 17:21)
Holy Spirit, vivifying fire and gentle breath, come and abide in us. Renew in us the passion for unity so that we may live in awareness of the bond that unites us in you. May all who have put on Christ at their Baptism unite and bear witness together to the hope that sustains them. Amen.
You may also visit the GEII website at geii.org to find about more about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.