January 18-25, 2020 is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Each day this week we will publish a Bible reading, reflection and prayer on the theme of church unity.
If you would like to celebrate Unity Sunday in your congregation on Sunday, January 26, 2020, then see our worship resources posted here.
“Just before daybreak, Paul urged all of them to take some food, saying, ‘Today is the fourteenth day that you have been in suspense and remaining without food, having eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you to take some food, for it will help you survive; for none of you will lose a hair from your heads.’ After he had said this, he took bread; and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat. Then all of them were encouraged and took food for themselves.”
Paul’s invitation to eat is an exhortation to those in the boat to strengthen themselves for what lies ahead. This taking of bread marks a change of attitude, as those in the boat move from despair to courage. In a similar way the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper provides us with food for the journey and re-orientates us to life in God. We are made strong. The breaking of the bread – at the core of Christian community life and worship – builds us up as we commit ourselves to Christian service. We long for the day when all Christians will be able to share at the same table of the Lord’s Supper and draw strength from one bread and one cup.
your Son Jesus Christ broke bread
and shared the cup with his friends on the eve of his passion.
May we grow together in closer communion.
Following the example of Paul and the early Christians,
give us strength to build bridges of compassion, solidarity and harmony.
In the power of the Holy Spirit,
we ask this in the name of your Son,
who gives his life that we might live. Amen