India Inspires Reflection On Christian Unity

CommunionWebWeek of Prayer for Christian Unity—2013
Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, 21 January 2013

What does God require of us?(cf. Micah 6: 6-8)

The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 to cover the days between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul, and therefore have a symbolic significance. In the southern hemisphere where January is a vacation time churches often find other days to celebrate the week of prayer, for example around Pentecost (suggested by the Faith and Order movement in 1926), which is also a symbolic date for the unity of the church.

This year‘s worship reflects the youthful character of the Student Christian Movement of India. It takes into account the Dalit reality and offers an opportunity to share in their spirituality. Particular elements of the service come from the Indian Dalit context, which include the use of drums, and the bhajan, which is a local way of singing the lyrics affirming their faith in God.

Throughout the Week of Prayer, Christians all over the world explore in ecumenical fellowship what it means to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God. For Dalit communities, the walk towards liberation is inseparable from the walk towards unity. And so our walk with Dalits this week, and with all who yearn for justice, is an integral part of prayer for Christian unity.

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