“Ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising” (Mt 2:9)
Guided by the one Lord.
Readings for Day 5 of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Again and again the scriptures tell us how the Lord God walks with his people, protects them, and watches over them day and night. The path may not always be straight: sometimes we are led to retrace our steps, and at other times to return by a different route. But in all our journeying through life, we can be confident that God, who neither “sleeps nor slumbers”, protects us lest our feet slip and we fall.
Even in the greatest darkness, God’s light is with us. His light shines out through the prophets sent to guide God’s people on the way set before them and to remind them of the covenant. Most perfectly, in the fullness of time, God sends His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He is the guiding light for all nations, the glory of God in the world, the source of divine life, sealing a new covenant in his blood.
The way ahead into unity with one another, and so into closer union with Christ, is not always clear. In our earnest attempts to build unity ourselves it is all too easy to lose sight of this fundamental message of the scriptures: that God does not abandon his people even in their failures and divisiveness. Not only is this a message of hope for Christians, but for the whole world. As the story of the Magi reminds us, God guides people of all kinds, with the light of the star, to where Christ, the light of the world, is to be found.
God sends the Holy Spirit whose light enables us to see with the eyes of faith the truth of the divine Child, and the call to unity and the reconciliation of all things in Him. It is this Spirit that leads us from darkness and tragedy into Christ’s light and life.
O Lord God our Father, you sent the star to lead the Magi to your only begotten Son. Increase our hope in you and let us know at all times that you are walking with us, watching over your people. Teach us to follow the guidance of your Holy Spirit, however strange the path may seem, so that we may be led to our unity in Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Open our eyes to your Spirit, and encourage us in our faith, so that we may confess that Jesus is Lord, and worship and rejoice in him as the Magi did in Bethlehem. We ask you these blessings in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.