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  Opinion   Oped  19 Jan 2018  Mystic Mantra: Let’s pray for unity in freedom

Mystic Mantra: Let’s pray for unity in freedom

Father Dominic Emmanuel, a founder-member of the Parliament of Religions, can be contacted at frdominic@gmail.com
Published : Jan 19, 2018, 11:49 pm IST
Updated : Jan 19, 2018, 11:49 pm IST

Thinking freely also brings splits, be it in families, politics, academics, ideologies, and indeed among religious groups.

Jesus Christ
 Jesus Christ

Fortunately human beings are endowed with the faculty to think freely. Since God created each one of us differently, it is but natural that we also think differently. No two human beings (except the identical twins) share the same physical or rational features with other human beings.

Similarly no two human beings have the very same thought process. While plurality in thinking is certainly a blessing from God, the way individuals exercise their freedom can sometimes disrupt normal life, especially when humans start thinking and acting independently of God and His teachings.

Thinking freely also brings splits, be it in families, politics, academics, ideologies, and indeed among religious groups. Such independent thinking, like in other spheres and religions also brought about split among Christians.

In the days between January 18 and 25 every year, Christians of different denominations all over the world gather together in various forms to pray for a visible unity among themselves which they essentially enjoy in Jesus Christ.

The practice that began in 1908 continues till today, with even greater urgency, both for themselves and for the world. Such a practice sets a good example, firstly, among various Christian denominations that despite their differences in understanding and living out the teachings of Jesus Christ, they still attempt through prayer to maintain unity in freedom.

Secondly, such a “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”, also sets an example before the rest of the world, which today experiences splits and breakups of different kinds in several areas of life. Splits are bound to happen because of our independent thinking but the question is if such splits should be allowed to inflict wounds on organisations or should one try to bring in understanding and acceptance of such an awkward reality?

Thirdly, the task of attempting a unity while leaving all sides free works with fewer difficulties when we allow God’s presence and His Word to play a role in it. Jesus had told his disciples, “For men it is impossible but for God everything is possible”.

The theme for this year’s “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” is a verse taken from the Bible: “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power”. Since Christianity has a rather universal presence, the responsibility for choosing the theme for this year was assigned to the churches jointly in the Carribean.

The Carribean Islands and its people have had a sad history of being exploited by the colonisers. In the midst of their terrible hardships and poverty, their use of the Bible kept encouraging them to trust in God and that His “right hand” which is “glorious in power”, would one day bring them freedom, which they currently enjoy.

Let us then invoke God’s presence in prayer which can heal us of our divisions and unite us in freedom.

Tags: jesus christ, bible