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Week of Prayer: Day 1

wise men on camels following star of bethleham

“We observed his star in the East” (Mt 2:2)
Raise us up and draw us to your perfect light

Readings for Day 1 of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Reflection

stars in dark skyIn this fragile and uncertain world, we look for a light, a ray of hope from afar. In the midst of evil, we long for goodness. We look for the good within ourselves, but so often we are overwhelmed by our weakness that hope fails us. Our confidence rests in the God we worship. God, in his wisdom, enabled us to hope for divine intervention; but we had not anticipated that God’s intervention would be a person, and that the Lord himself would be the light in our midst. This exceeded all our expectations. God’s gift to us is a ‘spirit of power, and love’. Not by relying on our own strength and ability are we drawn forward on the way to this perfect light, but rather by God’s Holy Spirit.

In the midst of humanity’s darkness the star from the East shone. In it we see a light that penetrates the depths of the darkness that separates us from one another. The star’s light was not only an illumination at a particular historical moment but it continues to shine and change the face of history. Throughout the ages, and ever since the star first appeared, the world has come to know through the lives of Christ’s followers the hope that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. These give witness to God’s work in history, and to the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Despite the vicissitudes of history and the changing of circumstances, the Risen One continues to shine, moving within the flow of history like a beacon guiding all into this perfect light and overcoming the darkness which separates us from one another.

The desire to overcome the darkness that separates us compels us to pray and work for Christian unity.

Prayer

Lord God, illumine our path by the light of Christ who moves before us and leads us. Enlighten us and dwell within us. Guide us to discover a small manger in our hearts where a great light still sleeps. Creator of light, we thank you for the gift of that unfading Star, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. May he be a beacon for our pilgrimage. Heal our divisions and draw us closer to the Light that we may find our unity in him. Amen.

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