Christian Unity and LifeDec 23rd, 2011 | By Matt Yonke | Category: Blog Posts
Next month Christians worldwide will observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from January 18 to 25. Since unity between Catholics and Reformed Christians is the particular focus of this site, we too will partake and encourage participation in this week of prayer that Christ’s John 17 prayer for our unity will be fulfilled in our time.
It’s been a big year for Christian unity as Orthodox/Catholic talks have moved ahead, slowly but surely, and the Anglican Ordinariate has offered a way for Anglicans to come into communion with the Catholic Church without abandoning their English patrimony.
Though the things that divide us are important and compromise on fundamentals is not an acceptable road to unity, I believe that the things that unite us are greater, and much more powerful.
The creeds and councils that both Reformed and Catholics hold dear, the moral law that binds all men that we both defend, the reverence for the Scriptures as God’s holy word, these things bind us together against a world that opposes us on all these counts.
One particular aspect of the moral law that brings a particularly strong point of unity is our common defense of human life from conception to natural death against the legion of threats that assail life from all sides in our culture.
I make my living as a pro-life activist with the Pro-Life Action League and I’ve seen multiple examples of the cause of life bridging the gap between Reformed Christians and Catholics. It hasn’t always been so and it’s not always so now. I have seen pro-life protests devolve into Protestant/Catholic arguments, but I find it increasingly rare.
In 2007, when Planned Parenthood opened what was at the time the largest abortion mill in the country in Aurora, Illinois, where I live, literally thousands of Christians from every stripe came together to oppose this unwanted killing center in our town. Protestants and Catholics joined together in 24-hour a day prayer outside the facility in the days before it opened and they continue to this day to fight this scourge side by side.
That prayer effort continues to this day, though not on the same scale, and my colleagues and I continue to pray and strategize together with a group of Protestants and Catholics every couple of weeks to come together in our shared commitment to life that flows from our shared commitment to the Giver of Life.
The particular unity I’ve seen in my community over the issues of life and the wonderful fellowship I’ve shared on the front lines of the abortion battle with my protestant brothers and sisters has given me great hope for our eventual reunion. People who share such deep commitment to life in Christ cannot remain separated in worship forever.
As we approach this octave of prayer that our differences come to an end, and as we approach our shared feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, let’s focus on our shared commitments and let them increase our affection for each other in the Lord. And keep an eye on the blog. We’ll be posting more about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity as it approaches.
We’ve got the whole rest of the year to discuss our differences, and we must if we are to attain the unity Our Lord so greatly desires for us. But for this one week, let’s foster our mutual loves and commitments for the good of all Christ’s Church.