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Ways towards unity

The image of the Fire and Wind is at the centre of prayers and Bible study for Tuesday, 5 November. The Bible text guiding prayers and study is from Acts 2:1-13.

The image of the Fire and Wind is at the centre of prayers and Bible study for Tuesday, 5 November. The Bible text guiding prayers and study is from Acts 2:1-13.

Fire and Wind

This morning prayer is based on the icon portraying the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost. The One Spirit descends distinctly on each of the Apostles thus creating a unity manifested as a koinonia of spiritual diversities. Even though St. Luke and St. Paul were not physically present on the day of Pentecost, the portrayal of their presence with the Apostles in an open circle demonstrates that the unity God seeks through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is an open process with eschatological significance. The king at the bottom of the icon represents the cosmos, which speaks to the fact that the descent of the Holy Spirit is constantly implementing God’s will for the unity and restoration of the whole of creation.

The Spirit descends “like a rushing, mighty wind,” upon the Apostles as “cloven tongues as of fire” (Acts 2:2, 3). Refreshing and at the same time unsettling, uncompromising and yet reconciling, God - and God’s word - “is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). Both fire and wind remind us how important it is to develop a discerning Christian witness, and to develop it together - in the perspective of the eschatological hope we all share as Christians.

Opening Prayer

L: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Glory to You O God, glory to you

C: O heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth, present in all places and filling all things; treasury of good things and giver of life, come and dwell in us and purify us from every stain, and save us.

See page 108 of Halleluja! Resource for Prayer and Praise (pdf, 4 MB) for all prayer texts of the day.

Bible Studie: Being and Becoming Church: The Spirit-Filled Genesis

This text is often read from a mission perspective. How can we understand the Pentecost event from a unity perspective that can bring new insight, dynamism, and power to the ecumenical movement? The role of the Spirit in unity in diversity, as well as the relationship of Pentecost to justice and peace, are interesting to explore in today’s changing landscapes.

Read the complete Bible study by Hyunju Bae

Questions for reflection and discussion

  1. When and how is unity as a gift of the Spirit?
  2. How do we re-imagine power in relation to genuine expressions of unity?
  3. What makes you assert or deny the prophetic character of your church?
  4. A litmus test for true unity is its power to effect common good, and to create new realities for all, particularly for the marginalized and the discriminated.  Share inspirational examples of true unity in your own context.
  5. Is your church inclusive enough, especially for people with disabilities?
  6. What are the examples of the stereotyping of “the other” in your own community and culture? How can we avoid getting caught in these oppressive cultural traps?
  7. How do we view the reality of migration – as an obstacle or opportunity for unity?

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