Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Day 6

Day 6: Changed by God’s steadfast love.
Scripture

Habakkuk 3:17-19, God, the Lord is my strength.
Psalm 136:1-4,23-26, His steadfast love endures forever.
1 John 5:1-6, This is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.
John 15:9-17, No one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Meditation
It is faith in God that keeps hope alive. Habakkuk’s lamentation turns to joy in God’s fidelity that supplies strength in the face of despair.
Psalm 136 confirms that the memory of God’s steadfast love in Israel’s history. Because of God’s intervention, the people of Israel experienced extraordinary and surprising victories. Recalling God’s great works of salvation is a source of joy, gratitude and hope, which believers have for centuries expressed in prayer, hymns of praise, and music.
The epistle reminds us: “that which has been born of God” is what overcomes the world. Victory in Christ involves a change of heart, perceiving earthly reality from the perspective of eternity, and believing in the final victory over death. This victorious force is faith, the source of which is God. And its most perfect manifestation is love.
In the gospel, through His death on the cross, Christ assures His disciples of God’s love. He invites and challenges them to show love to one another. Even when progress to full visible unity seems slow, we do not lose hope. God’s steadfast love will enable us to overcome the deepest divisions. That is why the victory that conquers the world is our faith and the transforming power of God’s love.

For Your Reflection

On this day the Bible texts show us the Lord strengthening His flock. Following the Good Shepherd, we are called to strengthen each other in the Lord, and to support and fortify the weak and the lost. There is one Shepherd, and we are his people.

  1. How does the Good Shepherd inspire us to comfort, revive, and restore the confidence of those who are lost?
  2. In what ways can Christians of various traditions strengthen each other in confessing and bearing witness to Jesus Christ?
  3. For us today, what can be the meaning of St Paul’s exhortation: “Be strong in the Lord…. put on the whole armour of God”?

Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, by your resurrection You have triumphed over death, and have become the Lord of life. Out of love for us You have chosen us to be Your friends. May the Holy Spirit unite us to You and to one other in the bonds of friendship, that we may faithfully serve You in this world as witnesses to Your steadfast love; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Source: Greymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute

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