The theme for the 2018 International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is: Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power (cf. Exodus 15:6).
We continue with day 4 of the biblical reflections from the official handbook, which was drafted this year by the Churches of the Caribbean. (You can download it here.)
Isaiah 9:2-7a (His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace)
Psalm 34:1-14 (Seek peace, and pursue it)
Revelation 7:13-17 (God will wipe away every tear from their eyes)
John 14:25-27 (Peace I leave with you)
Within the Caribbean, violence is a problem to which the churches are called to respond. There is an alarmingly high rate of murder, much of which stems from domestic abuse, gang warfare and other forms of criminality. There is also a rising rate of self-harm and Suicide in Some parts of the region.
The kingdom which God promised, the kingdom which Jesus proclaimed and made manifest in his ministry, is a kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. What does this Good News mean for those trapped in the darkness of violence? In the prophet’s vision, light shone on those who lived in a land of deep darkness. But how can Christians bring the light of Jesus to those living in the darkness of domestic and gang violence? What sense of hope can Christians offer? It is a sad reality that division among Christians is a countersign, which hampers the communication of hope.
However, the quest for peace and reconciliation between the different churches and confessions is the opposite of that. When Christians strive for unity in a world of conflict, they offer the world a sign of reconciliation. Christians who refuse to enter a logic of privilege and status, who refuse to demean others and their communities, give witness to the peace of God’s kingdom, where the Lamb guides the saints to springs of the water of life. This is a peace the world needs, and one which brings healing and comfort to those afflicted by violence.
God of all comfort and hope, your resurrection defeated the violence of the cross. As your people,
may we be a visible sign that the violence of the world will be overcome. This we pray in the name of our risen Lord.