In 1908 Paul Wattson proposed that January 18-25 be a week of prayer for Christian Unity, across all denominations. Many in the Northern Hemisphere will be praying and meditating on the verses of this week and entering committed prayer. Wow, this is a significant week for people in the United States with the inauguration of a new President and threats of violence across our country. We join our voices in this week of prayer for Christian Unity. We will join our hearts with the world wide Christian church to pray and reflect on designated verses. The theme for this year comes from John 15: 1-17. The theme, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” comes from verses 5-9.
Day 1, today, we look at John 15:16a, “You did not choose me but I chose you.” For many that spiritual experience with the Divine when a person “accepts Jesus as their Savior” or when a person becomes deeply aware of their chosen-ness is a deep defining moment in their life. Yesterday in church services we read and reflected on Jesus calling his first disciples. Similarly, Father Abraham in Genesis 12:1-4 had a similar call experience when God appeared to him, “Go to the land I will show you.”
Jesus called the disciples. God called Abraham. God calls us, just as we are. We do not work our way to heaven but God comes to us. We are chosen to be a blessing to all, to start a journey with God to new places in our lives that we may not anticipate but that he unveils and reveals. This call is for everyone, not just the young. Abraham was to be a blessing to all nations, not just his “peeps,” not just to those who agree with him, but to all the nations God created.
Today people in the USA and the media struggle with polarization, of choosing who is good, who is right, and who is wrong. This theme is so strong right now. Only God knows the hearts of people. These two call scenarios show us that God calls us in our selfishness, shortsightedness, our incompleteness to be a blessing to all and he calls us to start a journey with him to places unknown to us now. This week may we turn from violence and hatred and keep our eyes focused on a savior who died for all and who calls us to be a blessing.