A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, October 2, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (October 1) Athens First UMC

[Once again, World Communion Sunday arrived just when we needed it because we are living during a time where there are so many issues that divide us. Churches all around the world celebrate this Sacrament on this same day as an expression of our unity and oneness in Jesus Christ. World Communion Sunday reminds us that what divides us is no match for what unites us. For some reason, we forget this all important truth too frequently, but thanks be to God for reminding us every 1st Sunday of October.]

O God, on this World Communion Sunday, we are reminded that we, though many throughout the earth, are one body in you. And so on this Sunday, we join Christians all around the world in receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the Mass, the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper.

Thank you for the many languages, customs, traditions, and expressions of faith that make up the Body of Christ. We pray that this special day of unity throughout the universal church would be an answer to Jesus’ prayer when he prayed, that those who believe in him may be one. Make us one today, O God. And may the world be drawn to you because they can see that your church is one throughout the world.

In a world where we can’t even agree to disagree on issues like standing or kneeling for the national anthem before a football game, remind us of what actually does make us unified – our purpose which is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

And so, when we find ourselves at odds with each other over so many issues, draw us back, draw us back, draw us back to why we are even here in the first place which is to be a visible expression of your love and grace for a broken and hurting world.

Help us to continue to be unified in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world; in our discipleship strategy of each person having a loving, learning, and living faith; and in our fellowship where we see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Teach us what it means to live generously in all that we say and do so that we can be a blessing to others.

We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ who though he was in the form of God, emptied himself for our sake. It is in his name that we pray together saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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