Let’s not forget each other this Pentecost!
One of the joys of church life in Market Harborough is the remarkable fellowship across our churches. We are able to meet together and co-operate on a variety of outreach and social projects. Just this week, individuals from most of our churches have been sharing in the Thy Kingdom Come wave of prayer.
Being unable to meet together doesn’t dilute the mission and unity that we enjoy. And as we approach the celebration of Pentecost we’ve been reminded of the link between the Holy Spirit and Christian unity by last weekend’s Papal Letter. We (the Executive Committee of Churches Together in Harborough) felt it was worthy of note for us all.
Drawing on, and quoting from, documents of the Second Vatican Council and elsewhere, Pope Francis acknowledges that “legitimate diversity is in no way opposed to the Church’s unity, but rather enhances her splendour and contributes greatly to the fulfilment of her mission”.
Indeed, he adds that “only the Holy Spirit is able to kindle diversity, multiplicity, and at the same time bring about unity”. He admits that he wishes we could go further and faster in creating closer unity but recognises with gratitude that “many steps have been taken … to heal the wounds of centuries and millennia”.
Most importantly, he stresses that Christian unity “is not chiefly the result of our activity, but [is] a gift of the Holy Spirit.” He suggests that this Pentecost we “ask the Holy Spirit to guide our steps … inspire new prophetic gestures and strengthen fraternal charity among all Christ’s disciples.” He calls us to re-commit to journeying together further along the ecumenical road.
May we suggest that as we welcome afresh the Holy Spirit this weekend, and as we seek His gifts and fruit, that we also remember each other and the wider church in prayer so that our individual yet united mission may lead many to ask, as they did in Jerusalem, “What does this mean?” and in their seeking, find Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
The full text of Pope Francis’ letter can be found at Letter from Pope Francis to Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Janet Smith (Chair)
Andy Murphy (Vice Chair)
Rose Williams (Treasurer)
Derek Williams (Communications Officer)