Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Day 1
Date:
18th January 2018
Description:
WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
DAY 1 WELCOMING THE STRANGER
STARTING POINT
The memory of a liberated people, that they were once enslaved, should compel us to
welcome the stranger in our midst. The experience of Biblical Israel resonates with the
experiences of the peoples of the Caribbean region, the majority of whom were once
slaves. We remember how God restores the dignity of God’s people and the churches of the
region play an important role in reminding their society of the duty to welcome refugees
and displaced persons.
Leviticus 19.33-34
You shall love the alien as yourself
Psalm 146
The Lord watches over the strangers
Hebrews 13.1-3
Some have entertained angels without knowing it
Matthew 25.31-46
I was a stranger and you welcomed me
REFLECTION
We are good because we are loved,
not loved because we are good.
If it was up to each one of us to earn it,
we might not be loved very much.
Too much goat and not enough sheep.
And yet loved we are, since God is in all things,
even the bits we think are ugly and unmentionable.
We are loved,
but God wants us to give some love back,
giving and receiving
in a mutual relationship.
Love makes us better
holds us together
reaching out to the other.
Being in relationship with God means being with other people,
doing some good.
Looking after the creation
and not seeing everything as being there for our enjoyment.
It means being fair and not exploiting others.
It means giving and not taking.
It means being alongside not overpowering others.
It even means welcoming and respecting the stranger in our midst since
it may be the Christ unannounced.
QUESTIONS
How have you experienced being a stranger?
Have you visited another church (perhaps whilst on holiday)? How were you
welcomed? How did you feel?
How might being truly hospitable be challenging? What might hold us back from being
genuinely hospitable?
PRAYER
Barrier-breaking God,
You embrace all cultures and lands,
But keep a special place in your heart
For the stranger, the widow and the orphan.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit
That we may become as You are,
Welcoming all as brothers and sisters,
Your cherished children,
Citizens together in Christ’s kingdom of justice and peace.
Amen
GO AND DO
(see www.ctbi.org.uk/goanddo)
The Caribbean Council of Churches has been involved in advocacy to challenge
those nations that are restricting or stripping Haitians of citizenship rights.
Visit Go and Do to read Milciades story about being denied his rights in the
Dominican Republic.
Visit Go and Do to find inspiration and encouragement to keep helping those
who have been forced from their homes across the world.
THAT ALL MAY BE FREE.

 

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