Pray with Scotland, January 22, 2023

Pray with Scotland, January 22, 2023

Lectionary Selection: Matthew 4:12-23, Ecumenical Sunday

Prayers from Scotland

Do good; seek justice, said the prophet Isaiah (1:17).
God who in Christ and through the Spirit inspired Andrew,
and brought people to know you and follow you,
may each of us be such a model of Christ
that our lives encourage others to know and follow you.
Creator God, the earth is yours and everything in it,
help us to make responsible use of our world.
Hear our prayer for those forced to flee their homes and countries.
May we embody the mind of Christ in offering
welcome, sanctuary, opportunity, friendship.
Christ, the way, the truth and the life,
you broke down the walls that divide.
As we pray in these days for Christian unity,
between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul,
open our hearts and minds to recognise that,
though we are many, we are one in you.
Holy Spirit, you lift our spirits,
“fresh daring to inspire.”[1]
May we dare, in unity and love,
to share of the abundance of our world:
that all have food, a home, work, friendship.
For in doing good and seeking justice,
we show Christ’s love for all. Amen.

Mission Moment from Scotland

The Church of Scotland is experiencing deep change and challenge: restructuring in parish life, merging and closing congregations and ministries, reorganising the church structures, all of which bring challenges and confusions. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, followed Jesus and led others to also follow and witness and serve faithfully. It is as we walk alongside each other in friendship and solidarity that we find Christ with us. It is beyond structures.

In the midst of this annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we remain thankful for the worldwide family of God with whom we can enjoy sharing life and faith together. The theme of this ecumenical week is “Do Good and seek Justice” (Isa 1:17) – as we give thanks for our interconnection with the world church, we are glad that doing good and seeking justice is part of what we do together with Global Ministries in our joint support of Fiona Kendall in Mediterranean Hope, and also in ecumenical and interfaith work in Scotland through Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees.

We look forward to collaborating with the World Communion of Reformed Churches in creating a Reformed Office to engage with the Vatican, and other world communions with representatives in Rome, later in 2023. This builds on recent ecumenical developments: the St Margaret Declaration of friendship with the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland – Scotland has had a challenging history of sectarianism; the Columba Declaration (with the Church of England); and the St Andrew Declaration (with the Scottish Episcopal Church).

Written by Rev. Ian W Alexander, International Partnerships, Church of Scotland.

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[1] Ian M Fraser, Church Hymnary 4 (Church of Scotland).  Canterbury Press 2005.