This week in January is the traditional time to pray for Christian unity. And boy do we need it! Remember the old song “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.” Not so much anymore.
I know many, myself included, who have discovered to their shock that their Christian friends have entirely different political beliefs than they do. In the past, that was just a matter of opinion. Now it’s a source of division. Too many of us, on both sides, consider it almost an article of faith that “real Christians” support our own political beliefs.
I don’t think God is happy about that. He would prefer that we take up prayer during this time seeking Christian unity. Clearly, Jesus prayed on the last night of his life that Christians stay united in the Spirit and in love. He knew what was coming, and He prayed against it.
This prayer from “Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers” puts it beautifully:
Almighty and eternal God, you gather the scattered sheep and watch over those you have gathered. Look kindly on all who follow Jesus, your Son. You have marked them with the seal of one baptism, now make them one in the fullness of faith and unite them in the bond of love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. As we pray for unity, let's look at our intentions and our thoughts. Let us seek to be kind and open to those who disagree with us. May people again come to know we are Christians by our love.