23 January, Church Unity Week: Unusual Kindness VI.

fire.Moses

This year’s reflections for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity were prepared by the Churches in Malta and Gozo. We are sharing elements of their prayers, but follow the link for the full resources for personal or community prayer.

Naturally, the Maltese Christians draw our attention to the story in Acts 27-28 of how Paul, a prisoner in chains, was among a group who survived being shipwrecked on Malta.

Hospitality

And when we had escaped, then we knew that the island was called Melita. But the barbarians shewed us no small courtesy.For kindling a fire, they refreshed us all, because of the present rain, and of the cold … Now in these places were possessions of the chief man of the island, named Publius, who receiving us, for three days entertained us courteously. (28:1-2; 7)

Reflection

I open my door and welcome the newness of uncertainty. The presence of possibilit resides in the unfamiliar received with outstretched, vulnerable arms.

The gifts brought are for sharing among us, not trading equity. This stranger and I,we resolve to put warmth in the cold places,compassion in the hard places, hope in the dark places, and peace deep within.

We kindle the fire together and gather for warmth, bIefore the next pilgrim,brings gifts for us all.

Prayer

God of the orphan, the widow and the stranger, instil in our hearts a deep sense of hospitality. When You ask us to feed You, to clothe You and to visit You; those with ears to hear, listen, those with eyes to see, look.

May our churches participate in the ending of hunger, thirst and isolation and in overcoming barriers that prevent the welcoming of all people.

We ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus, who is present in the least of our sisters and brothers. Amen.

Image from SJC.

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