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A reflection by Berwick Curtis

As we come to the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I wonder what your take on it has been. To me, unity does not mean uniformity. We have been given minds, emotions, personalities. We don’t always agree but delight in the diversity of humankind.

Churches fall between the two poles of Truth and Unity; unity at all costs or truth to the exclusion of some. Unity requires the inclusivity that demands respect and acceptance of others, but not necessarily agreement. The early church had to come to terms with differing views on the relationship between Jews and non-Jews and came to a compromise that some could not accept.

The same is true today. To further Christian Unity we need to ask what really matters. Perhaps we need to get back to basics, to recognise that much of our church tradition is just that, tradition. Perhaps we need rather to serve our fellow human beings, indeed our whole planet as Jesus demands – with love, compassion and acceptance, but not without debate. Perhaps we need to be reminded that if God is our Father, we are brothers and sisters. Brothers and sisters do not always get on, but nevertheless we share a common heritage as fellow heirs to the Kingdom.

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