It was thrilling last week, along with St Mary’s Cholsey and Wallingford Baptist Church, to be part of the celebration to mark the launch of CAP Wallingford. It was also interesting to note that it was the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Just before his crucifixion, the Lord Jesus prayed ‘that they may all be one’ (John 17:21). However, it is worth asking who are ‘they’ that Jesus is referring to? There appears to be a move in society that suggests we whitewash over our differences and unite according to the lowest common denominator on which we agree. Yet Scripture reveals that true unity is found, not in our humanity, but in our being united with one another as, through new-birth we are reunited with God.
Although it is vital that we seek to be Christ-like to all we meet whether they are of our faith, another faith or none, we must understand that we can never manufacture Christian unity. Rather, as Paul would later suggest, we are called only to ‘maintain’ the work that God has done, by bringing us into relationship with one another by His Spirit (Eph 4:3). God has done this, not because of our best efforts, but because we ‘believe’ and subsequently have ‘received’ the blessings of the undeserved, unmerited, life-changing and world-shaking power of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!
I trust and pray that these truths will spur us to real and lasting unity as together we look to share God’s love with Wallingford and the wider world.
In Him, Gareth