“Father, I pray that they all may be one,
just as You are in Me, and I in You.
May they also be in us so that the world
may believe that you have sent me.John 17:21
Intro to this issue
When the Apostle Paul addressed the Christian community at Colossae in Asia Minor (present day Turkey), he prayed that they would “be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col.1:9,10). He went on to explain that it was Christ Jesus who reconciled them to God and broke the dividing wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles in order to make them one in Christ.
Today we witness a new work of reconciliation, healing, and the tearing down of walls of hostility and division between Christians who have been divided for centuries. The ecumenical movement is a gift of God’s grace and a work of the Holy Spirit. It is also a prophetic summons for all Christians to pray and strive together for the unity of Christ’s body here on earth.
God is raising up ecumenical communities of Christians who come from all the streams of Christianity – Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, Pentecostal, and Messianic Jews – to be a prophetic sign and witness to the work of the Holy Spirit who draws us to the Father and to his only begotten Son Jesus Christ who rules over the heavens and the earth as our Lord, Savior, and King.
May this issue encourage you to yield more fully to the grace and work of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and who draws us daily to the throne of grace and mercy. May we grow in the fruit of the Spirit – in love, joy, peace, patience, and unity – so that we may witness the love, peace, and mercy God desires for all Christians and all people of goodwill.
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Top image of people moving towards the formation of a cross: image modified from the original at bigstock.com, © by Digital Storm, Stock Photo ID: 81935960
Don Schwager is the editor of Living Bulwark and author of the Daily Scripture Reading and Meditation website. He is a lay religious brother and life-time member of the Servants of the Word.