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One Light – One world
Unity and the Scriptures

Churches Together in England and Bible Society collaborated to produce this booklet to mark the Centenary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, with the support of Congregational & General Insurance plc. The introduction and table of contents are below and you can also download the whole booklet.

This booklet helps to re-establish the scriptural basis for our ecumenical calling.

Ultimately the reason we, as Christian Churches and Christians, are involved in the ecumenical journey, is because there is a divine mandate.

This selection shows the vision of the unity of the Church within the purposes of God. He wills that his whole creation is at unity with itself and with him, through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We pray without ceasing that the Church may be a sign, instrument and foretaste of the unity of all things in Christ.

 

Suggestions for use

This booklet is offered to stimulate renewed engagement with the scriptural mandate for the Church’s unity. Among the ways you may wish to use it are:

  • For personal reflection and prayer.

  • In a small group to read and discuss each of the main sections taking a session for each.

  • To consider as a local Churches Together grouping or ministers’ group what the implications of these texts might be for our relationships and activities.

  • To read a selection of these texts in an ecumenical gathering.

  • To encourage artistic or poetic responses to one or more texts or sections either to share among the churches or as an exhibition.

 

Contents

The booklet contains the following scripture texts, printed in full. Here are those references for you - a great biblical mandate for unity...

The Unity of God
  • The Lord our God is one: Deuteronomy 6.4–7

  • The only Lord: Mark 12.28–31

  • God’s faithfulness surrounds you: Psalm 89.5–8
     

The Unity of Creation and the human race
  • It was very good: Genesis 1.26–31

  • The Lord encompasses all: Isaiah 40.21–26

  • The world belongs to the Lord: Psalm 24.1–2

  • Good news for all nations: Matthew 24.14

  • All of creation waits with eager longing: Romans 8.19–23

  • God loved the world so much: John 3.16

  • To God be the glory: Romans 11.33–36
     

The Unity of God’s People
  • A great nation: Genesis 12.1–3

  • The holy nation: 1 Peter 2.9–10

  • Called to be God’s holy people: 1 Corinthians 1.2–3

  • We are his people: Psalm 95.1–7
     

Christ’s work in bringing us into unity
  • Better that one man die for the people: John 11.49–52 

  • One flock, one shepherd: John 10.14–16

  • We are his children: Galatians 4.6–7

  • God will be all in all: 1 Corinthians 15.24–28

  • To draw everyone to himself: John 12.32

  • To gather up all things in him: Ephesians 1.7–12

  • That they all be one: John 17.20–23

  • We will be saved by his life: Romans 5.10–11

  • God was pleased to reconcile all things: Colossians 1.15–20

  • He has broken down the dividing wall: Ephesians 2.13–22

  • Let all the peoples praise him: Romans 15.10–11
     

The Spirit’s gifts of unity

  • All together in one place: Acts 2.1–6

  • Not disorder, but peace: 1 Corinthians 14.31–33

  • For building up the body of Christ: Ephesians 4.7, 11–16

  • One body in union with Christ: Romans 12.3–5

  • The gift each one has received: 1 Peter 4.8–11

  • God’s gift of the Spirit: Ephesians 3.14–16
     

Recognising that we belong together: Living in unity

  • You should wash one another’s feet: John 13.3–15

  • The greatest must be like the youngest: Luke 22.24–30

  • Keep on loving with all your heart: 1 Peter 1.22

  • Let us love one another: 1 John 4.7–11

  • We love because he first loved us: 1 John 4.19–21

  • The greatest of these is love: 1 Corinthians 12.31-13.1–13

  • Consider others better than yourselves: Philippians 2.5–11
     

Recognising that we belong together: Mutual respect and harmony
  • First be reconciled to your brother or sister: Matthew 5.21–24

  • Be united in the same mind and same purpose: 1 Corinthians 1.10–13

  • Love one another: Romans 13.8

  • Never put a hindrance in the way of another: Romans 14.13–18

  • Pursue peace with everyone: Hebrews 12.14–15

  • Welcome one another: Romans 15.7

  • Righteousness and peace will embrace: Psalm 85.10–11
     

Recognising that we belong together: Interdependence and partnership

  • They signalled to their partners to help: Luke 5.1–8

  • Bear one another’s burdens: Galatians 6.1–2

  • Put up with the failings of the weak: Romans 15.1–2

  • No dissension within the body: 1 Corinthians 12.12–31

  • Delight in the Law of the Lord: Psalm 1.1–3
     

Recognising that we belong together: Life in fellowship
  • Abide in me as I abide in you: John 15.1–16

  • Everything in common: Acts 2.42–47

  • Agree with one another; live in peace: 2 Corinthians 13.11–13

  • In the light we have fellowship with one another: 1 John 1.3–7

  • In Christ Jesus you are all children of God: Galatians 3.26–29

  • Maintain the unity of the Spirit: Ephesians 4.2–6

  • Aim to do good to one another and to all people: 1 Thessalonians 5.13–25

  • How wonderful it is for God’s people to live together in harmony: Psalm 133.1–3

WHY UNITY IS IMPORTANT

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