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Walk Humbly Together

Tonight I contributed, as a representative of the Quaker meeting I'm attending, to a service for The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2013

Although my affiliation first with the Unitarians and more recently with the Quakers places me as a descendant of peoples who paid a great price at the hands of the more dominant churches, which could in turn make me think low of them, times have obviously moved on and continue to do so.

Also, I feel, it is very much at the heart of Free Christian ideals to reach out to other Christians who share quite radically different beliefs and practices. This should not just be a matter of peaceful coexistence but of powerful convergence - the minister at the end of the service talked about the need for present-day Christians of various denomination to live together in conversation as the communities of the Early Church often did. There are things we can continue to learn from one another and which we can be enriched by.

I admittedly found bits of the service hard to connect with and my thoughts drifted - the Friend with me commented that the planning of these events often falls into theological wrangling and I can see how - but the overall theme of justice, with specific reference to the Christians of India and their fight against the caste system, struck chords with all who participated.

The contribution I made was to give the reading Micah 6:6 - 6:8. I did not choose this reading, it was provided, but it is one I think is pertinent to the idea of Christian Unity, and to my own burgeoning life as a Quaker.

With what shall I come before the Lord
    and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

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