Have you heard of the 2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25, 2019)? Every year, churches across the world mark this week, whether in January or at another time, to pray together for Christian unity.
In times like these, this prayer for unity is all the more urgent.
The theme for this year - Justice and only justice you shall pursue (Deut 16:18-20) – has been prepared by Christians from Indonesia.
With a population of 265 million, 86% of whom are reckoned to be Muslim, Indonesia is well known as having the largest Muslim population of any country. However, about 10% of Indonesians are Christian from various traditions. In terms of both population and the vast extension of the country Indonesia is the biggest nation in South East Asia. The nation is founded on five principles called Pancasila, with the motto Bhineka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity). Across the diversity of ethnicity, language and religion, Indonesians have lived by the principle of gotong royong which is to live in solidarity and by collaboration.
This always fragile harmony is today threatened in new ways. Much of the economic growth that Indonesia has experienced in recent decades has been built on a system that has competition at its heart. This is in stark contrast to the collaboration of gotong royong. Corruption is experienced in many forms. It infects politics and business, often with devastating consequences for the environment. In particular, corruption undermines justice and the implementation of law. Moved by these concerns, the Christians of Indonesia found that the words of Deuteronomy, “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue ...” (see Deut. 16:18-20) spoke powerfully to their situation and needs. Before the people of God enter the land God has promised them they renew their commitment to the Covenant God established with them.
If you are already organizing a service or event, thank you. We encourage you to invite and include all the Christian churches in your community.
If you haven’t yet planned to organize a service, there’s still plenty of time. This could be a great opportunity to bring together churches in your city to pray together for unity.
Download and use worship and other materials from www.weekofprayer.ca.
The Canadian Council of Churches, of which the CRC has long been a member, responds to Christ’s call for peace and unity, seeks Christ’s truth with affection for diversity, acts in love through prayer, dialogue and public witness. Shared community services to celebrate and mark Christian unity are important occasions to build relationships, reaffirm our commitments, and rediscover shared ministry.
Thank you for your mission and ministry in the communities where you live and breathe!