“O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior,
the Prince of Peace: Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the
great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions; take away
all hatred and prejudice, and whatever else may hinder us
from godly union and concord; that, as there is but one Body
and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith,
one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all
of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth
and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and
one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Recently I was asked by a parishioner to give him some texts that might help him in this time of seeming fracture in our church. I suggested a close reading of Ephesians. And, being a good Episcopalian, of course I went to see what the BCP had to offer. Although the parishioner was asking for biblical texts to chew on, the prayer above, which comes from the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer (p. 818), is a very good place to start and very good daily reminder. This is especially true when we find ourselves in a place of separation and we desire to take the first steps that lead us to walking toward wholeness and restoration–both for ourselves and those from whom we feel separated.
Join me in praying the words above today, and every day next week.
Linger over the words…let your heart and mind marinate in the imagery and message they convey. May we espouse and come to know in our hearts this unity, as the body of Christ.