On the Fifth Day of Unity… The Church: “Our Participation is Thanks to the Ecumenical Movement”

On the Fifth Day of Unity… The Church: “Our Participation is Thanks to the Ecumenical Movement”
On the Fifth Day of Unity… The Church: “Our Participation is Thanks to the Ecumenical Movement”
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Western churches celebrate the fifth day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and churches all over the world celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, for the period between (18-25) January. In its keenness to always unite with the one who is the source of the faith of all the churches, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, in which the rituals of all the different churches pour out, expressing their love for him and their adherence to his message.

The motto of the fifth day came: Singing a song to the Lord in a strange land.

And the church reads in it from the book of psalms, and the churches said in their sermon on this occasion: The psalmist’s lament goes back to the captivity of the people of Judaism to Babylon, but the pain of captivity echoes through time and culture. Perhaps the psalmist released the refrain of this psalm towards heaven. Perhaps he exclaimed every syllable of it between deep sobs of grief. Perhaps this poem was written with a shrug of the shoulders, a sign of the indifference that can only come from living with injustice and feeling powerless to effect any real change. Whatever the motive for uttering these words, the sadness of this passage resonates in the hearts of those who are treated as strangers in other countries or in their own lands.

In the psalm, the oppressor asks for smiles and joy, and the songs of the “happy” past are sung. This request has reached marginalized people throughout history. Whether in burlesque performances, geisha dances, or performances by cowboys and Indians in the American West, the oppressed have often demanded that the oppressed perform something pleasing to ensure their survival. Their message is as simple as it is tough. Your songs, your concerts, your cultural identity, which distinguishes you and makes you worthy of respect, is permissible only as long as it serves us.

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In this psalm, the voice of generations and generations of the oppressed is conveyed. How do we sing the Lord’s song when we are strangers in our own land? We do not sing to those who enslave us, but to glorify God. We sing because we are not alone, because God has never left us. We sing because we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. Grandparents and saints inspire us, encourage us to sing songs of hope, songs of freedom, songs of liberation, songs of a homeland that restores its people.

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Concerning Christian unity, the churches said on the fifth day: Luke’s Gospel tells of people, many of them women, who follow Jesus even as he carries his cross to Calvary. This following is the act of the faithful disciple. Furthermore, Jesus acknowledges their struggles and the suffering they will have to endure in bearing their cross with faith.

Thanks to the ecumenical movement, Christians today participate in hymns, meditations, prayers, and trans-traditional ideas. We receive them from Christians belonging to communities different from our own, as gifts that flow from faith and from the life of a Christian disciple lived with love, often amid suffering in struggle. These gifts that we share are riches to be appreciated, and they bear testimony to the Christian faith we share.

The churches directed the speech to the people on the fifth day, saying: How do we remember the stories of the ancestors and saints who lived among us and sang hymns of faith, hope, and liberation from captivity?

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