Praying that we may all be one in Christ

Pastors and fellow Christians from four nearby Christian churches converged at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SHC) to pray for greater Christian unity.

Feb 12, 2019

By Bernard Anthony
Pastors and fellow Christians from four nearby Christian churches converged at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SHC) to pray for greater Christian unity.

The Christian Unity Prayer meet was held on January 25, 2019 with the theme Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue ( cf. Deuteronomy 16: 18-20).

This is the 2nd year the Christian Unity Week was held at the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was organised by the Parish Ministry for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (PMEIA), coordinated by Dr Florence John, who was also the emcee for the event.

The programme started with fellowship at 7.00pm, which was an opportunity for everyone to mingle and get acquainted.

This was followed by Praise and Worship.

The three-hour programme saw Fr Edwin proclaiming the Gospel, taken from Mark 16:15-18 (The worldwide commission to proclaim the Gospel). The parish BECCOT chairman, James Prakash, gave a welcome speech to all, and introduced the pastors and priests present to the assembly, as many were first-timers to this significant event.

The highlight of the evening was the sharing or reflections given by the different leaders of the respective Churches. Representing the SHC and on behalf of Fr Edwin was seminarian Bro Albert Arputhan (who is on a month long pastoral assignment at SHC). He shared the background of the Christian Unity gathering, of coming together, witnessing, oneness, peace and unity in solidarity; it was first initiated in 1908 and proposed by Fr Paul Wattson.

Bro Albert said that the reason for Christian Unity is stated in John Chapter 17. Jesus prayed for Christian unity, ‘that they be one’, which was repeated four times in verses 11, 21, 22 and 23. The seminarian said that it is important for all Christians to be one. There is hope through ecumenical groups like CFM, AMEIA and PMEIA to spread the Gospel in the language of Christ which is love, peace and the need to be united in prayer and sharing in all aspects of life. He said our Christian mission for 2019 is to protect the 4Ls, namely the Lost, the Little, the Least and the Last in society.

Pastor Joel Benny from the Apostolic Bible Christian Assembly Church gave a reflection on Christian Unity. He added that no enemy can overcome us if we Christians are united.

This was followed by Pastor Prince John Peter from the King’s Tabernacle Church who touched on this year’s theme (Deuteronomy 16;15-18). He said many speak about unity but do not practise it. He invited all to promote justice which means not lying or cheating and to pursue justice, from God. “Christian unity speaks about oneness, for there is only one God. Love is of God. Those who do not love, do not know God. Those who want others to be destroyed do not have love. When we respect God, we love Him. And everyone who is born of God loves God and others.”

Rev Dr Apostle Philip Jeyabalan from the Victorious Living Assembly Church gave a reflection on the Gospel of Mark 16: 15-18, “to go into the whole world and preach the Gospel of Christ.” He said many people did not know the truth and were simply dying without knowing God. The pastor explained why we must preach the Gospel — because God’s Word has power. Jesus Christ suffered, died was buried and resurrected. He is the Living God. Rev Philip said the Gospel is the truth and the truth will set us free.

Next was Rev Matthew Chay from All Saints Anglican Church who spoke about Christian unity, using the story taken from Luke 5: 17-26 (Jesus forgives and heals a paralytic). Rev Chay also invited all to bring their friends to Jesus for healing. He wondered why many of us share good food and places to visit on social media but do not share Christ with our friends and others. Is He not worthy? Jesus is God in human flesh. He forgives and heals the paralytic man, physically and emotionally, because of his faith. In conclusion, Rev Chay said we need to bring our friends to Jesus and know that our sins are forgiven.

After the PCC chairman’s speech, the Lord’s Prayer was recited.

At the end of the prayer gathering, Fr Edwin presented tokens of appreciation to all the pastors present.

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