04Jan Christians United in Prayer – Christian Unity Week 2018

Christians United in Prayer

Christians United in Prayer: Email: unity@oloughlinkennedy.com, Facebook: @trinityknotunity

John O’Laughlin Kennedy

Christian Unity Week 2018

Wouldn’t it be good for Christians to pray in one another’s churches during this week?

In 2018 we can! Christian Unity Week runs from January 18th to 25th, and the plan is to welcome people from other denominations to our churches or meeting places to pray for church unity, for peace, and for blessings on one another. The unity we are praying for is the unity that Jesus prayed for, the unity of caring love.

The Trinity Knot is an old Celtic symbol of the three-in-one, one-in- three relationship that has no beginning or ending. It can be made in cardboard, wood, paper, rope, ribbon… It can be cut out or painted. It could even be woven or plaited from long tendrils of ivy. You can exercise your creativity by making a Trinity Knot and giving it to your pastor to display.

Participating churches will place the Trinity Knot near the entrance as a sign of welcome (with a note about when the church or meeting place will be open if this is appropriate). When you see it at a church that you don’t normally attend, you will know that you are welcome to pop in and say a short prayer. You will be expressing your wish for a unity of love and respect. You could make a point of visiting two or three of these churches during the week.

Flowers are a heaven-sent way to express love. To give your prayer a more visible expression, bring a flower, wild flower, even a weed or twig with leaves. In a prominent place in each participating church, there will be a vase or jar of some kind in which to place it. It will be a greeting to your brothers and sisters of different traditions, a vote for unity, and a sign that you want barriers to come down.

In recent times, the institutional churches have been learning from the faithful to be civilised towards each other, then to respect, to forgive and ultimately to love one another. Let’s keep up the momentum. Pope Francis has invited us to pray together for Christian unity, and to work together. Hopefully, all the churches or meeting places in your area will join in promoting the idea. As on any journey there will be obstacles but obstacles are there for getting over, past or around. Love will find a way.

 

Why?

On the day before he died, Jesus prayed for unity: “that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.”

As Christians, we all worship one Trinitarian God. That is what unites us. It does not matter that we have a variety of ideas about him. Everybody is inadequate when it comes to appreciating the infinite. But we all say the Our Father. That makes us brothers and sisters and our Father wants us to love our brothers and sisters. And we do. Let’s show it.

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.
Wherefore, let thy voice rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats that nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer both for themselves and those who call them friends?
For so the whole round earth is every way bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

—Alfred Lord Tennyson

Let us assume this responsibility, reaffirming today our ‘yes’ to being, together, builders of the peace that God wishes for us and for which humanity thirsts”. .

–Pope Francis at Assisi

Action Now for Pastors

If you have not done so already, now is the time to arrange participation with leaders of other Denominations in your parish or area and get someone working on a few artistic Trinity Knot Signs. If you are not a pastor, please bring this idea to yours.

https://www.facebook.com/trinityknotunity/ Please send us your photos and messages about your Christian Unity Week and Trinity Knot so we can put them onto the Facebook page.

 

Reflection

A millennium ago, tensions between the Churches in the East and the Roman See caused a schism. In 2017, we marked 500 years since the Christian Church in Europe started to break up into separate churches. Starting the second half-millennium of the Reformation in 2018, it is time that those who try to follow Jesus, like you, like me, did something about it.

If you are not in a position to do something big, do something small. Little things add up.

At this stage, we can surely admit that there was fault on all sides – that there probably still is. Forgiveness is the seed bed of love. Forgiveness is the environment in which love flourishes.

We are not talking about romantic love or even liking or even knowing. Like St Francis and Pope Francis, we are talking about care and consideration for other people, for animals, plants, for all created things and for the environment that they generate for one another. Caring for the ‘least ones’ requires that we all practice being a bit unselfish at times; that we do not always try to get our own way.

This is what Jesus was talking about when he said that everything (all the law and the prophets) depended on love . . . caring love of God and of neighbour. He also said that the mark by which you could recognise his followers was that “they have love for one another”. This gives us the key to the unity he prayed for.

God made a world of billions of people, all the same essentially, yet each one unique. The amazing variety gives us finite beings some evidence of his infinite creativity. While each of us is unique in terms of knowledge, skill set, appearance, and opinions, as Christians we all worship one Trinitarian God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That is what unites us.

It does not matter that we have a variety of ideas about him. Everybody is inadequate when it comes to appreciating the infinite. But we all say the Our Father. That makes us brothers and sisters and our Father wants us to love our brothers and sisters. And we do. Let’s show it.

 

 

Ten Steps to draw a Trinity Knot – Any size you want

1) Target Height: Decide what height you want your Trinity Knot to be. (Example 200 mm)

2) Set your compass to 66% of the target height. (Example 132 mm)

3) Use it to mark out the angle points of an equilateral triangle that stands on one point.

Remember, your trinity knot will be bigger than the triangle so leave room all around it on the page. No need to draw the triangle, just mark the angle points (as shown below in red). If you are using a loop of string instead of a compass, put a pin or a thumbtack at each angle point.

4) Change your compass to 55% of the Target Height. (Example 110 mm)

5) Draw an arc (almost a half-circle) around each angle point. Draw it lightly as you will have to rub some of it out later.

6) Change your compass to 45% of the Target Height. (Example 90 mm)

7) Lightly draw a smaller arc around each angle point.

8) Rub out the lines at the ends of the arcs if they have crossed one another. Rub out selected parts of lines to create the alternate ‘unders’ and ‘overs’ traditional in Celtic Knotwork.

9) Go back over the lines you want to keep with a firm line and make good the image where necessary.

10) Rub out the angle point marks.
Now that you have your pattern you can decorate it as you please, or cut it out in cloth, plywood or cardboard, or make it up in rope or ribbon or weave it with tendrils. Have fun. Be creative!

 

2 Responses

  1. Pat Rogers

    Thanks for this piece. But can you also include the author’s name please?

  2. Mattie Long

    Pat, apologies I thought it had been included. It was submitted by John O Loughlin Kennedy on behalf of ‘Christians United in Prayer’: Email: unity@oloughlinkennedy.com, Facebook: @trinityknotunity
    Mattie

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