The well is deep – week of prayer for Christian Unity

The week of Prayer for Christian Unity is generally marked from 18th – 25th January. Churches together in Britain and Ireland produce materials to mark the week.  This year the materials have been developed with the churches in Brazil. The focus is brought to two symbol, of a path and a well, inspired by the story when Jesus deliberately chose to cross Samaria on his way to Judea in Galilee. His route passed by the well of the Samaritan woman who came there to draw water. The questions are asked;

• Which is the path of unity, the route we should take, so that the world may drink from the source of life, Jesus Christ?
• Which is the path of unity that gives proper respect to our diversity?

It is suggested that people read the story of the woman at the well as a remembered story.  Have a go yourself – jot down what you remember of the story before looking it up in John 4: 1-42.  What are the differences, what do they tell you about yourself and what you find important? Is there anything that you didn’t remember that excites you?

God, with us and walking in our midst, grant us the grace of your light and Spirit. May we continue your mission, remaining faithful, welcoming all and listening even to those who are different from ourselves. Take and use these gifts in the service of your kingdom. Take away the violence that is in our hearts and the discriminating attitudes that exclude and devalue the dignity of others. Enable our churches to be welcoming spaces where feast and forgiveness, joy and tenderness, strength and faith, become our daily practice, our daily food, our daily movement forward in Jesus Christ.  Amen