More than 300 Christian Churches and ecclesial communities around the world are observing a week of prayer for Christian unity ending on January 25th. This annual celebration dating back to 1908 invites the whole Christian community throughout the world to pray in communion with the prayer of Jesus “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).
This past weekend I attended the marriage of a Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic at the former's Church. Even though the marriage was Orthodox I had prepared the couple over the past year for their wedding. Once I arrived the Orthodox priest and I spent the first few minutes having to apologize for our respective faiths in our inability for us to co-celebrate the wedding. Same God. Same Christ. Two religions still trying to work out how to be one.
This weekend I find myself in New Mexico attending a conference led by Richard Rohr and Bill Plotkin: Nature and the Human Soul. Over a thousand people, from all different faiths taking time to pray over the connection of soul to the gift of nature God has given us.
Sounds too new age? It is far from it. Actually it provides the space for all those here, while appreciating and giving thanks to our own faith traditions, to do a reality check to see if we are focusing our time and energies on "church-ianity" or Christianity. We often forget that Christ did not come to start a new religion, rather he came to teach us a new way to live and to love. What faith tradition you want to wrap around that gift from God...is really up to you.
We pray, this week, that one day we may all be one.