The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 31st May – 7th June, Pentecost to Trinity Sunday
The resources for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by different Christian Churches in Malta. The history of Christianity in this small island nation dates back to the time of the apostles. According to tradition, St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, reached the shores of Malta in the year 60. The narrative describing this eventful and providential episode is conveyed to us in the final two chapters of the Acts of the Apostles.
Pentecost Acts 2:1-4 (NRSV)
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
[Full reading Acts 27:18 – 28:10]
Acts 28: 1-2
After we had reached safety, we then learned that the island was called Malta. The local people showed us unusual kindness. Since it had begun to rain and was cold, they kindled a fire and welcomed all of us around it.
Pentecost celebrates a new sense of togetherness through the gift of God’s Spirit. Believers from many different backgrounds gathered as one community, setting aside divides of country, culture, age, societal position and difference. They experienced the unconditional love and welcome through the power of the Spirit, promoting understanding between them, and a oneness in diversity. As they shared in prayer and hospitality, their learnt and understood the uniqueness of God’s family, the dreams and visions for God’s realm on earth.
As we enter this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we are able to celebrate across our country and beyond, through worship resources prepared from the other side of the world. Through the pandemic situation, we are also able to worship together as a country, via online resources (see invitation below). How precious is our Christian family, where we have a sense of welcome with people whom we may have never met, but with whom we connect through faith and Spirit. This is at the very heart of receptive ecumenism at work today, a reminder of Pentecost a few thousand years earlier. Let us look with the eyes of Christ’s love, welcome the gifts of those whom we meet and extend the hand of hospitality with ‘unusual kindness’ that is gifted to us through the power of the Spirit.
Prayer Nicene Creed
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father,
who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.