WCC: Morning prayer explores love for our neighbour

 — Sept. 2, 20222 sept. 2022

On a glorious Friday morning, the prayer tent at the World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe burst with enthusiastic singing of hymns, liturgical responses and praise songs in German, English, Spanish, Arabic, Maohi, Estonian, and Xhosa.

“Christ’s love moves us to love” was the theme of the service of morning prayer on 2 September. Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) provided a narrative core to the devotions. Jesus told the parable after being asked, “Who is my neighbour?” In response, he spoke of solemn religious officials neglecting an innocent traveler who had been physically assaulted and robbed. Once the self-professed holy people had passed by, a Samaritan stopped, took him to shelter and paid to have his wounds tended. Which of these, Jesus asked, was the traveler’s neighbour?

The prayers themselves began in lament for the wounds of the world, and the failures of churches and individuals to reach out to neighbours in love. Assembly participants prayed: “In my distress I cry to you, O God, that you may answer me. Have mercy on me, save me from my endless greed, my deadly neglect, my lack of activity.”

Drawing on biblical allusions, they confessed: “I have abused and destroyed the land for my own wealth. I have seen what I have done to your Creation, yet I have not repented nor changed my ways. And now I see that I am an alien in Meschach, I live in the tents of Kedar. A war will break out any minute, O God, and it is my fault; save me from my sin. Have mercy on your people, God.”

After the reading of the parable, in which Jesus describes the attitude and actions of a Samaritan and encourages listeners to “go and do likewise”, the prayers shifted to visions of the future: “Have mercy on those of us who don’t care for the needs of others. Liberate them from their selfishness, open our minds and hearts to show mercy. Jesus showed us how to love – help us to do likewise.”

The congregation moved off to do Assembly business to the strains of a Zulu freedom song from South Africa.

Posted: Sept. 2, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=12421
Categories: Conferences, WCC NewsIn this article: WCC, WCC Assembly
Transmis : 2 sept. 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=12421
Catégorie : Conferences, WCC NewsDans cet article : WCC, WCC Assembly

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